Tax scam money linked to terrorist cell in Spain

Money from tax scams in Sweden and Denmark is suspected of having financed a terrorist cell in Spain that has been recruiting fighters to islamist groups. One of the suspects is based in Malmö.

In 2014, Spanish police raided an address in the Spanish enclave Melilla in northern Africa. Six men were arrested. According to the Spanish police they had been sending at least 26 jihadist fighters to islamist groups in conflict zones.

But one of the suspects - a Danish man resident in Sweden - was never arrested. The police investigation has been leaked to Danish Radio, and it shows that he had frequent contact with the leader of the suspected terrorist cell. The police believe that he was one of those financing the cell, with the help of tax scams in Scandinavia.

And according to Swedish Radio, there is a connection between him and the suspected VAT scam that defrauded SEK 100 million from the Swedish and Danish tax authorities over a four-year-period. Police here have suspected that the tax fraud was financing terrorist activities, but none of the suspects have been charged for that crime.

In the leaked Spanish police investigation, intercepted phone and e-mail conversations reveal that the man in question repeatedly discussed the ongoing jihadist recruitment. But, when Swedish Radio contacted the Swedish intelligence and security police SÄPO they declined to comment on whether they are looking for the man or not.