Aussie accountant arrested in high profile tax racket

Federal Police
arrested former Sydney accountant, Robert Agius, principal
partner of accountancy firm
PKF Vanuatu, on
Sunday morning, for operating an offshore tax haven which allowed Australians
‘in the higher echelons of business’ avoid paying an estimated $A100m (?50m) in

Agius, a Vanuatu resident since 1979, was arrested following an investigation
by the Project Wickenby taskforce into tax avoidance. He will be extradited to
NSW to face two charges of conspiracy to defraud and one of money laundering.

Several others will also be summonsed to appear in court this week, and
warrants have been executed in Sydney, Vanuatu and New Zealand in an operation
which has identified more than $A57m in assets, some of which have been frozen,
following an investigation by Project Wickenby, the Vanuatu police, NZ police
and the NZ Inland Revenue Department, Melbourne paper The Age reports.

A statement of facts lodged in Perth by AFP reveals that, for an
establishment fee of $A8000 and an annual fee of $US1380, PKF Vanuatu would
provide an Australian company or director with false invoices from an
overseas-registered company that had a bank account in NZ.

Further reading:

story in The Age

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