A turnover of 355 million euros in 2018. But only 932 unique certifications (Cud) issued the same year. The investigation into Dhl Supply Chain Italy of the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Economic and Financial Police Unit of the Guardia di Finanza, coordinated by prosecutors Paolo Storari and Giovanna Cavalleri. The investigation that involves Fedele De Vita, president of the company until 2018, and the current number one Antonio Lombardo, is the daughter of an information, in possession of the fattoquotidiano.it, transmitted byRevenue Agency to the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office on February 14, 2020. Just as the Milanese prosecutors investigate the gang-taking among the riders of Ubereats, then commissioner. The papers on DHL end up in the investigative file on Ubereats just like “Basic scheme” of tax and labor irregularities in logistics.
It is in those weeks of 2020 that the sector Contrast illegal of Revenue led by Andrea Caruso, Luigi Balistreri e Chiara Baylon send an analysis of the system of work contracts by DHL in Italy. A system “characterized – reads in the 37 pages of the tax report – by the presence of cooperatives, consortia or companies that have a large workforce and act as mere “reservoirs” of manpower“. A “fraudulent evasive phenomenology” that facilitates both the “exploitation of workers” and “unfair competition”. How does it work? The first “alert” almost always comes from the fact that the contributions paid do not correspond to the number of workers. Speaking of DHL and its sub-suppliers, the Tax Agency explains how this can depend on both access to “contribution benefits provided by the Jobs Act for new hires“Both” fromerosion of the taxable contribution base through handling payslips “. So much so that in some cases difficult to distinguish between the two modes.
To benefit from this system is the client company that “neutralizes their own tax wedge ”with“ outsourcing of labor and all related charges ”. According to investigators, there are three types of “actors” in this evasive chain: the so-called “tank company“, Usually cooperatives, which alternate over time (even failing) by transferring the workforce from one to the other, systematically omitting the payment of VAT and contributions. The coop invoices to “filter companies”, in general consortia without workers, which in turn invoice the final customers. Why? “For the sole purpose of lengthen the commercial chain and hinder control activities “. Third and last link in the chain: the clients. They stipulate low-cost procurement contracts with the filter companies, while remaining formally distinct from the cooperatives that carry out tax offenses. The purpose? “Strengthen the client’s staff, ensuring savings on labor costs, as well as the outsourcing of all the typical dynamics of industrial relations “.
DHL ended up in the crosshairs of investigators and Fiamme Gialle precisely for some oddities: the “filter company” of this story is called Service Industry Consortium (Cis), headquartered in Milan with dozens of coop and srl affiliates. The CIS declared a turnover of 26 million euros for 2018, however, at the end of the year, transmitting only 7 unique certifications and with a series of tax returns for VAT purposes whose accounts do not return to the tax investigators. What they write as the first oddity is that “the Consortium has as its only customer the company DHL Supply Chain Italy as the other taxpayers recipients of the billing cycle are nothing more than suppliers of the Consortium itself to which presumably they are certain costs are charged”.
The legal representative of the CIS turns out to be a pensioner by name Vincenzo Fontana. But the real “managers” of the game are the special prosecutor Salvatore Claudio Rizzelli, former owner, partner or representative of dozens of co-ops and companies, domiciled in the Milanese office of the accountant Francesco Pagano in turn hired by the consortium and already investigated in the past by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office for other facts. “We are in the presence of a fraudulent facility based on the illicit supply of labor “, reads the information, and the” Consorzio Industria dei Servizi acted as a mere filter of one or more simulated tender contracts with DHL Supply Chain, beneficiary of advantages deriving from the offenses perpetrated “ because the “well thought-out system” has allowed DHL to “access an impressive availability of operators” with “great flexibility and lower prices than the hourly market rates “. All achieved through the omitted VAT and social security payments by the “base” of the pyramid (le coop).
If the president and former president (De Vita and Lombardo) are certainly under investigation, it is still unclear which overall structure will be investigated by the Milan prosecutor’s office and how the responsibilities will be divided. But the Revenue Agency in its communication of February 2020 points out to the Milan prosecutors two other aspects: the main DHL sites and plants in Italy where to carry out investigative checks on the coop and the illicit supply of labor, but also the role and involvement in facts in question of the main managers and executives of the German logistics giant, at least at the time of the 2018-2019 tax assessments.
It is a political issue, as well as a judicial one, that of actual responsibility of the clients with respect to any offenses committed by the lower links of the chain. A political issue raised for the first time by the magistrates of Milan. With a series of investigations that have shaken the world of logistics in Lombardy since 2016. From the commissioner until May 2019 of Ceva Logistics, subsidiary of the French group CMA-CGM and world leader in the shipping and logistics sector, passing through the maxi process on coop and consortia operating in the cargo area of Malpensa – second freight yard in Europe – orchestrated by the former president of Varese Calcio and politician of the Lega Antonio Rosati, up to the case of the illegal hiring in Ubereats, where it has come to demonstrate a direct responsibility of the parent company in the Netherlands in what the suppliers of rider for the food delivery company. The DHL case is part of this game.