Strabag's Moscow offices raided

By Steve Skinner08 October 2009

Strabag in Moscow

Strabag in Moscow

Russian tax authorities raided two of Strabag's offices and two construction sites in Moscow yesterday following allegations of tax evasion. The company confirmed today that four of its premises were searched and documentation was seized.

A Strabag spokesperson said the claims made by the tax authorities related to subcontractors hired by Strabag and not to the Group itself. A statement went on to say that Strabag signed agreements with the unnamed subcontractors and that the company rejects accusations that it set up dummy firms.

A company spokesperson said, "All the necessary documents confirming the official legal status of the subcontractors had been presented to Strabag and all payments were made via bank transfer to the accounts provided by the subcontractors.

"We had no knowledge that the subcontractors did not pay their taxes," said the spokesperson.

Following a request from the Russian tax authorities, Strabag has paid Rub 108 million (€ 2,5 million), which represents the outstanding taxes and associated fines, although it has also started a court action which questions its liability towards its subcontractors.

The Strabag spokesperson said, "Strabag has filed a complaint with the court of arbitration as it believes it has been unjustifiably held liable for its subcontractors."

A statement said Strabag is confident of a ruling in its favour. The statement went on to say that Strabag is prepared to cooperate fully with the authorities, a luxury that had not been afforded to Strabag regarding the searches.

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