(ANSA) - Alessandria, October 9 - Police arrested 14 people in Italy and one in Germany who claimed that their commercial operations selling wine and other alcoholic beverages operated outside of the European Union to avoid paying EU taxes. Authorities seized seven companies, real estate and bank accounts worth 15 million euros as part of probes. Three officials for the Italian customs agency in Naples and Bari are also being probed. Investigators said that ring members could be charged with international tax evasion and criminal association. The operation was carried out by Italian customs agents together with German police.