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Coordinated raids in five countries over tax investigation

Coordinated raids in five countries over tax investigationā€

Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS) is being investigated again for tax evasion and money laundering, following a tip to Dutch prosecutors about tens of thousands of suspect accounts, Reuters reports. 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.

In cooperation with authorities in a number of countries, raids were done in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Great Britain and France on Thursday.

"The undeclared assets hidden within offshore accounts and policies are estimated in the millions of euros", Eurojust said. Credit Suisse fell 1.2 percent to 14.90 francs in Swiss trading, the second-worst performance in the Bloomberg Europe Banks Index.

That was until the Swiss came to blows with the Americas for marketing their wares in the USA and actively helping U.S. nationals evade United States taxes.

Credit Suisse has been caught up in an worldwide tax investigation covering at least three countries.

Credit Suisse said in a statement that "we are co-operating with the authorities", pointing out that it has applied the Withholding Tax Agreement between the United Kingdom and Switzerland since 2013, along with similar arrangements with France and the Netherlands. The name of the bank involved hasn't been disclosed.

In Australia, revenue and financial services minister Kelly O'Dwyer said investigators there had identified more than 346 people "with links to Swiss banking relationship managers" who allegedly promoted tax evasion.

Dutch authorities said they had detained two people and seized assets including luxury cars, paintings and even a gold bar in the multi-country sweep.

Eurojust said the investigation began in 2016 and it had held three meeting with Dutch, British, French, German and Australian authorities.

"The same operations were carried out in the other European countries and Australia".

HMRC said: 'The first phase of the investigation, which will see further, targeted, activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers.

Credit Suisse spokeswoman Anna Sexton declined to comment further.

"The worldwide reach of this investigation sends a clear message that there is no hiding place for those seeking to evade tax", Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs said in a statement.

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.



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