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Corfu Island Bars Caught Reselling Unfinished Drinks

Corfu old town
The auditors raided bars and restaurants, scrutinizing the issuance of receipts for tax compliance and inspecting the drinks served for authenticity and legality. Credit: DARIUSzpre / CC-BY-3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Greek authorities have uncovered a concerning practice in some bars on Corfu island, a popular tourist destination. During an operation aimed at identifying tax evasion and the sale of illegal beverages, auditors, led by the Independent Public Revenue Authorities with assistance from local police, conducted raids on bars and restaurants in the village area of Kavos.

Inspections took place from August 30th to September 1st and were coordinated by the AADE operations center.

Their focus was on Kavos, a renowned party hub for English and other foreign tourists. Kavos is located at the island’s southernmost point. This area, often regarded as uninhabited, had seen no regulatory oversight for many years.

Auditors simultaneously raided numerous bars and restaurants, scrutinizing the issuance of receipts for tax compliance and inspecting drinks served for authenticity and legality.

Tax Evasion and Resale of Unfinished Drinks

The inspection revealed numerous violations. Twenty-six catering businesses failed to issue at least 40,578 receipts, amounting to 267,418 euros. Seven catering establishments served drinks lacking lot number markings, indicating contraband or potentially hazardous products. Eight samples were collected and sent for analysis by the State General Chemistry.

Authorities thereby stumbled upon a different problem as well. They found that some establishments were collecting leftover drinks from patrons’ glasses in a barrel and subsequently serving them as shots to unsuspecting tourists.

As a result of these findings, affected businesses faced 48-hour closures and monetary fines. Ongoing inspections are being conducted in other tourist areas.

This incident on Corfu coincides with a surge in tourism across Europe this summer, as reported by The New York Times.

Receipt-Checking App for Consumers

Due to numerous violations, the Greek Tax Administration introduced a receipt verification app called Appodixi in 2022, which allows consumers to identify counterfeit cash receipts.

This official application, managed by the Independent Authority of Public Revenue of Greece (IAPR), is available in English or Greek on the Google Play Store and AppStore. It scans receipts containing QR codes, allowing users to anonymously report discrepancies or unsent receipts to IAPR for further investigation.

Within three days of its release, more than thirty thousand users had downloaded the app, resulting in more than three thousand complaints, more than half of which were filed anonymously. Users who spot fake receipts can receive a cash reward of two thousand euros, which is significantly more than the value of the fake receipt.

VAT evasion costs the Greek state around five to six million euros annually, prompting efforts to combat it, including campaigns targeting tourists.

Old town of Corfu island

corfu old town
Old Town of Corfu: metrogogo/Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit attraction. Wander through its narrow, winding streets lined with Venetian-style buildings, visit the impressive fortresses, and discover charming squares filled with cafes and shops.

Visit historical landmarks like the Old Fortress, New Fortress, and the Liston promenade. Don’t miss the impressive Spianada Square, the largest square in the Balkans.

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