Tax evasion probe linked to Swiss bank

01 April, 2017, 01:20 | Author: Nora May
  • UK raids in tax evasion probe linked to a Swiss bank

Dutch authorities have carried out raids in multiple countries as part of an investigation into tax evasion and money-laundering via an unidentified Swiss bank.

Prosecutors in the German city of Cologne said they were also working with the Dutch.

The launch of a coordinated, global probe targeting an iconic Swiss bank came as a surprise to Bern, Switzerland's ATS news agency reported.

The Dutch investigation quickly spread to neighboring European countries, as well as Australia. The probe involved "the same Swiss bank" in all five countries, it said. In these raids millions of euros worth of paintings, gold bars, cash, bank accounts and property were seized.

'Credit Suisse has had this coming for years and can not pretend it is unexpected or undeserved, ' said Milestone International Tax managing partner Miles Dean.

Credit Suisse has previously been hit hard in tax probes.

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The bank said it has "implemented Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs and exited non-compliant clients", and has applied a withholding tax agreement with the United Kingdom since 2013. Under the OECD's Automatic Exchange of Information, banks pass on information to local tax agencies, which then share it with foreign counterparts.

Suspects deposited money in a Swiss bank and did not disclose that to authorities, the statement said. The Netherlands is investing 3,8000 Dutch leads.

The Netherland's office for financial crimes prosecution (FIOD) said that, although it had received information about 50,000 secret accounts at a Swiss bank, "we received no information about Swiss residents". French authorities said they had 25 agents working on the case.

The financial fraud office said it had identified several thousands of accounts in Switzerland that were allegedly used to hide money.

News of probe also comes as Credit Suisse faces hefty criticism in Switzerland as well as by renowned worldwide outlets including "Breaking Views", Germany's "Handelsblatt" (behind paywall), and the "Financial Times" (also behind paywall) for hiking top executive pay.

The office of the Swiss attorney general criticized the fact that other countries had made a conscious decision not to inform Switzerland about the probe, and demanded a written explanation from Dutch officials in particular over the lack of cooperation, according to Swiss news agency ATS.

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