Rome, April 4 (IANS/AKI) Italy's war on tax cheats moved to the sea where police ran checks on the owners of almost 1,000 yachts docked or sailing off of the country's heel.
Police in the southern Puglia region compared the value of 963 sail and motor boats not smaller than 10 metres to the declared income of their owners.
In one case, the owner of a 1.2 million euro yacht had never declared income, police said Tuesday. Other luxury vessels worth hundreds of thousands of euros belonged to people and businesses with little or no declared income.
Italy's emergency government of un-elected ministers has declared a high-profile war on tax evasion as part of its effort to put the country's financial house in order and lower its 1.9 trillion-euro debt. This is the first large-scale operation in Italy's south, following crackdowns in Milan and hangouts for the wealthy like ski resort Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Italy's tax police in January said they identified 7,500 Italians who last year hid around 50 billion euros in taxable income. The country's largest tax collection agency last week said increased surveillance helped it recover almost 13 billion euros in evaded taxes last year.
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