VAT fraud

I was asked about Aegirbio’s association with known criminals a reader had read in a discussion.  The issue has been much written about.  I will write a few words to fill up the Swedish context. This is going to be very simplified.

The criminals, in this case, are various people involved in a Swedish VAT fraud scheme.  This involved a large number of more or less made-up companies who amongst themselves were circulating orders in such a complex and fast way, that there was really no way to keep track of if any taxes were being paid. The Swedish tax agency estimates that the loss for taxpayers was about SEK 3-4 billion.

As I have already written, the distribution agreement  Aegirbio signed NowMed should have raised some warning flags.  Aegirbio has in a press release  written, that the agreements with the Asian Distributor were not signed by Aegirbio, but by NowMed Sweden AB, which works with a transportation firm where the board members are people indicated in the VAT fraud.

The whole thing is a mess.  As I have written, the Inventory- and logistics professionals praised to heaven by Aegirbio had merely sold a single truckload of latex gloves.  Somewhere along the way, the logistics company became two guys, another guy who had left the company but forgot to notify the registry, and a guy who has been charged with a crime but not cnvicted. According to  Aegirbio’s own Press Release, questions posed by a journalist sometime last summer:

This summer, Aegirbio was contacted by a journalist who informed us that the logistics company was owned by people who had been the subject of an investigation into VAT fraud. We immediately contacted the distributor and demanded an explanation. The company had been an empty company which in mid-April was bought by two people, those who today run the company.

we did background checks on the people who currently run the transport company and were able to state that they had terminated their employment at larger companies and started their own. The distributor had worked with these two people during the pandemic as they were employed elsewhere and benefited from them.

the question of possible further involvement in the logistics company and received the answer that the contact was a minor subcontractor to the distribution company’s owner during the pandemic and is suspected but not convicted of any crime.

After these inspections, our assessment was that the distributor and the logistics company were not involved. The new information that has come to our knowledge today regarding the company representative and his further contacts naturally causes us to start an investigation ourselves to ensure that everything went correctly.

I cannot help but to compare those two guys who left their jobs and bought an empty distribution company to what Aegirbio had to say about them on May 4th:

With experience from having delivered almost ten million nitrile gloves, one million visors and many millions of face masks to various agencies, NowMed Sweden has a very good organization around inventory and order management as well as logistics and sales. Something that Aegirbio will benefit greatly from. “The interest in the test has been so great that we were a bit taken aback. We as a company were not yet equipped to handle such large inquiries or deliveries. That is why we are now very happy to have so quickly found a relevant player who acts in the market, has established contacts and also a functioning logistics flow.

There is a separate issue of Aegirbio previously intending to acquire Dynamic Code, a Swedish medical technology company.  People from the tax fraud scheme are involved in financing of that deal. 

Aegirbio denies any involvement or  knowledge.  It is not for me to say if they are fraudulent or just incompetent.  And does it really matter?  One thing I can say for sure: I would not bet my money on them.