Dutch seize paintings, gold in worldwide hunt for tax evaders

Dutch seize paintings, gold in worldwide hunt for tax evaders
Dutch seize paintings, gold in worldwide hunt for tax evaders
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01 April, 2017

Dutch authorities had earlier today indicated that they were investigating tax fraud suspicions at the bank after receiving information about hidden accounts, Swiss media reported.

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".

The raids, carried out in the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Australia and France, followed consultations with national governments.

The Dutch are "investigating dozens of people who are suspected of tax fraud and money laundering", the prosecutors said, adding that suspects had deposited money in a Swiss bank without disclosing that to authorities. Credit Suisse was fined $2.6 billion in the U.S.in 2014 for helping Americans evade taxes.

"The fact that these accounts are unnamed means that by their very nature they are likely to have been established to hide the identity of the owner", Ms O'Dwyer said. Credit Suisse fell 1.2 percent to 14.90 francs in Swiss trading, the second-worst performance in the Bloomberg Europe Banks Index.

Swiss banks have come under increased scrutiny in recent years amid an global crackdown on tax evasion.

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The coordinated probe comes as Credit Suisse rolls out its new Automatic Exchange of Information programme created to share taxpayer information with relevant global authorities as part of a wider Swiss crackdown on money laundering and secretive banking.

"We are cooperating with the authorities", Credit Suisse said. The raids were done without informing authorities in Switzerland, the attorney general's office in that country said in a statement. It said that two arrests had been made as part of the raids.

It said questioning of witnesses was continuing, that more actions were expected in coming weeks, and that worldwide co-operation "will be intensified".

Britain's tax authority said it had launched a tax-evasion and money-laundering probe against an global financial institution, some of its senior employees and a number of its customers.

Simone Meier, a spokeswoman for Credit Suisse, declined to comment. For the first time, Swiss banks in 2018 will start providing data on accounts to tax officials in countries abiding by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development standards.


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