The police and tax authorities have received several reports that Irish and British foundation builders are back in Norway. They offer their services at the front door, and hand out flyers to people in the street.
British rock foundation layers, and asphalt workers, have come to Norway in droves in the springtime for years. The exception was last year when almost no itinerant foundation builders entered the country. But now they are back.
The Tax Administration reported that the first sightings of itinerant workers began to come in at the beginning of March, and the police have received around 20 reports in Oslo alone, as well as several cases in Follo, Romerike and Bærum.
‘They also offer other services, such as roofing, and cleaning of the house, in addition to asphalt and paving’, said leader of the tax crime department, Jan-Egil Kristiansen.
An all tax-free business
The foreign workers come to the doors of private individuals, offering asphalting and stone laying at very low prices, but must be paid in cash.
‘These are businesses involved in all tax-free work, who are also behind other criminal activities. Many may offer threats if they don’t get what they want’, said Kristiansen.
The police, and patrols from the ‘Cooperative Center Against Workplace Crime’ (Samarbeidssenteret mot Arbeidslivskriminalitet) in Oslo are out on checks, but people are encouraged to be alert.
‘This is a social problem, and we are working to combat it. We can’t do this alone. We rely on people not making use of these services. If there is no market for these businesses, they disappear’, said Kristiansen.
He said that if you pay more than 10,000 in cash, you can be held co-responsible for the builders ‘search evasion. This also applies if you divide the amount into smaller segments. One can also be penalised for using these people.
‘We prosecuted three people last year’, said Kristiansen.
‘Payment by bank account is no guarantee that the people you give the assignment to are law-abiding. They do not always ask for cash payment. Sometimes they ask for payment into bank accounts. Then the money often disappears immediately from your account to other accounts held abroad’, said Kristiansen.
The Tax Administration Office reminds us that a consumer has a responsibility too.
‘If you buy these illegal services, you are spoiling the industry for those who are trying to engage seriously, and you are contributing to the underground economy. In addition, you lose something as obvious as an appeal to a court. The safest thing you can do is to reject these road layers and foundation workers when they emerge with a flyer or at your door’, said Kristiansen.
Source: nrk.no / Norway Today