4 Oct 2012

Tax collectors helped themselves

7:47 am on 4 October 2012

Police in Italy have arrested the head and four employees of a tax collection agency in Genoa on charges of pocketing about 100 million euros ($US129.35 million) of public money.

Tributi Italia collected rates for 400 councils, but the funds were siphoned into the agency's own bank accounts.

Police say the money was spent on private planes, yachts, expensive cars, luxury holidays and extravagant parties.

Agency head Giuseppe Saggese is accused of pocketing at least 20 million euros for himself.