Couorier delivering packages

Italian Tax Police seize €86.5million from UPS Italia

Business News

On 14th December, Italy’s finance police seized approximately 86.5 million euros from UPS Italia, the Italian branch of United Parcel Service (UPS.N), a U.S. package delivery company. The police cited alleged tax fraud and illicit labour practices.

Milan prosecutors and the Guardia di Finanza tax police released a statement confirming the confiscation of €86.5million from “a leading logistics company,” identified as UPS.

The joint statement by prosecutors and police detailed a complex tax fraud scheme involving invoices for non-existent transactions and fictitious labour contracts. Prosecutors suspect that from 2017 to 2022, UPS’s Italian unit effectively acted as the direct employer for approximately 8,500 workers formally employed by cooperative labour contractor companies.

The order revealed that UPS software directed these workers through digital devices in their daily tasks. Officially, UPS reports having only 1,000 employees in Italy.

Earlier this week, Airbnb paid €576million in unpaid taxes to the Italian authorities.

Advertising ban also sought by prosecutors

The investigation mirrors recent probes into other players in Italy’s logistics market, according to the police and prosecutors’ statement. Prosecutor Paolo Storari signed the urgent preventive seizure order, marking a new investigation into the alleged illegal supply of labour.

Simultaneously, searches were being carried out at UPS offices in Milan, Como, Rome, and Reggio Emilia. The Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office also requested an injunction preventing UPS Italia, central to the VAT fraud investigation exceeding 86 million euros, from advertising services and goods for one year.

The ongoing investigation focuses on three successive legal directors of the group’s Italian company from 2017 to 2022.

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