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Criminals groups getting rich quick using value-added tax fraud

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Every year criminal groups steal some 50 billion euros from EU government treasuries through value-added tax (VAT) fraud, according to EU officials. Very worryingly, some of the stolen funds support terrorist networks and organisations like the Islamic State. That was the sobering message emerging from the “Film Night on Terrorism and Tax”, an event hosted by the European Commission’s taxation and customs union policy department on 5 September whose highlight was the screening of two documentaries. One of these explored how…

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EU defence agency studies technology with civil security potential

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The European Defence Agency (EDA) will soon be reviewing bids in response to one of its tenders to investigate a new kind of technology to protect military air platforms and other targets from attack. The technology could have direct applications for civil security end-users such as police, border control and law enforcement agencies as well – though that would only be a knock-on effect of the research contract since its primary purpose is to benefit Europe’s militaries. The EDA’s call for bids on the future work has just closed. Though its budget is modest, the technological implications are far-reaching since the goal is to scientifically investigate how to...