High-tech drones on the service of Greece’ Independent Authority for Public Revenues. With Argus eyes, the little secret agents have been buzzing over the heads of tax evaders and their facilities screening and recording movements
So far the drones have been deployed in Santorini, one of the most popular destinations for tourists.
Mission of the flying spies was to check boats offering short daily trips to the famous Caldera.
The drones spotted, surveyed and recorded the boat trips from early morning until 10 o’ clock at night.
At the end of the missions, the tax inspectors would crosscheck how many passengers were on board, how many ticket and receipts were issued.
Nine tourists boats were found to have committed 145 tax violations and have not issued receipts totaling 25,000 euros.
The boat owners are to be fined.
As the surveillance was in cooperation with the Port Authorities of Santorini, also other violations were determined like “virtual trips.”
Citing sources from the Public Revenues agency, iefimerida notes that some boat owners tried to escape when they got aware of the controls, however they returned back to the port.
“We used the drones for the first time on an experimental basis to monitor how many tourists were on board,” said an official at the Independent Authority for Public Revenues told reuters.
“The results were excellent”, he added.
Tax inspectors in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, did not need any drones. They conducted their controls on foot, they walked from cafeterias and restaurants to bars and night clubs and from parking places and to beauty parlors – funeral services were not exempted.
They found tax violations worth from 14,000 to 420,000 euros.
Less lucky were tax inspectors in Aigio, Peloponnese. They were assaulted by the owners of a local tavern. One of them was arrested by police, one was on the run.
At the same time, their colleagues in Athens have the chance to enjoy self-defense classes in order to learn how to deal with furious tax evaders out of control.
*video was released by the Greek Public Revenues Authority.