Greece uses DRONES to crackdown on tax fraudsters at holiday hot spots

Greece uses DRONES to crackdown on tax fraudsters at holiday hot spots

  • The drones will scans ships to determine how many passengers are aboard them 
  • The number will be cross-referenced against declared number of passengers 
  • Authorities will then issue fines if they found a discrepancy in declared income 

Greek authorities are using drones to scan boats and catch tax fraudsters at popular holiday spots.

The drones buzz over vessels that are running day trips on the Aegean sea to check whether operators are issuing legal receipts to their passengers. 

The new initiative is being launched by finance ministry tax inspectors and the coast guard on the popular island of Santorini.

Greek authorities will use the drones to buzz over vessels that are running day trips on the Aegean sea (file photo)

The black economy is though to represent about a quarter of national output in Greece. 

Tourism is vitally important to the Greek economy, triggering the attempts to stamp out undeclared earnings.   


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Based on data gathered from the drones, authorities were able to establish how many passengers were on board a ship at any time.

They can then cross-reference this number with receipts declared by the ship and on-site inspections.

The drones will calculate how many passengers are on board a ship and then check that number against the receipts shared by the operator

‘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 Revenue.

‘The results were excellent’, he added.

Nine tourist vessels that were checked by the drones were alleged to have not issued receipts totalling about 25,000 euros (£22,403). 

Their owners now face fines.

Tourism is a much-needed motor of growth and tax revenue for the economy, accounting for about a fifth of Greek gross domestic product. 

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