European Union officials say they have broken up a cross-border gang responsible for cheating EU member countries of 150 million euros ($168 million) in tax revenue.

Europol and Eurojust, the EU agencies for law enforcement and criminal prosecution, said nine people were arrested Tuesday in a fast-moving operation that kicked off early in the morning.

Those arrested are suspected of participating in organized fraud that deprived Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic of major sums of value-added tax payments.

Europol's head of organized crime operations, Michael Rauschenbach, said his agency has had a fully dedicated team in place for six years to fight such tax fraud.

He said the Tuesday crackdown sends a message that the EU is determined to pursue and catch people engaged in such crimes.