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Dutch investigators in hunt for tax evaders

Dutch investigators have arrested several people amid an international hunt for tax evaders. The move came after a tip-off about undeclared money in accounts at a Swiss bank, prosecutors explained.

Investigators in the Netherlands said Friday they had seized paintings, a gold bar and jewelry and arrested two people as part of a concerted crackdown on tax evaders. Authorities had received a tip-off about 55,000 accounts with undeclared deposits at an undisclosed Swiss bank.

The Dutch office for financial crimes prosecution said the coordinated raids had been carried out in the Netherlands itself, but also in Britain, Germany, France and Australia.

"The Dutch are investigating dozens of people, who are suspected of tax fraud and money laundering," the prosecutors said in a statement.

Spokeswomen Wietske Vissers said the investigations would continue for days and weeks.

The FIOD prosecution office said it seized immovable property, jewelry and luxury cars from homes in The Hague, Hoofddorp, Zwolle and the municipality of Venlo.

Homing in on the culprits

The Dutch government said it had passed information to other nations about the suspect accounts.

Watch video 03:56

The tax haven system

Banking giant Credit Suisse confirmed Friday that its offices in Paris, London and Amsterdam had "received visits from local authorities" amid reports that the raids were made within the framework of a larger fraud probe.

On March 30, 2017, Credit Suisse offices were contacted by local authorities concerning client tax matters," the lender said in a statement, adding that it was "co-operating with the authorities."

Britain said Friday it had also launched an investigation into suspected tax evasion by an unnamed "global financial institution."

"The first phase of the investigation, which will see targeted activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers," Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said in a statement.

hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)

 

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