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French authorities search 5 banks in Paris in tax fraud case

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French prosecutors say authorities have raided the Paris workplaces of 5 banks on suspicion of tax fraud

PARIS — Authorities raided the Paris workplaces of 5 banks Tuesday on suspicion of tax fraud, French prosecutors mentioned.

The raids come as a part of 5 preliminary investigations opened in December 2021 on allegations of cash laundering and tax fraud linked to dividend funds, the French Nationwide Monetary Prosecutor’s Workplace mentioned in a press release.

Prosecutors did not specify which banks had been raided. French media mentioned the banks searched included HSBC, BNP Paribas, Exane — a subsidiary of BNP — Societe Generale, and Natixis.

Societe Generale confirmed the investigation at its workplace however declined to remark additional. Messages searching for remark from the opposite banks weren’t instantly returned.

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The raid comes amid international monetary turmoil unleashed this month by the collapse of two U.S. banks and the government-orchestrated takeover of troubled Swiss lender Credit score Suisse by its rival UBS.

The French investigation concerned “cum cum” offers through which a overseas shareholder of an organization listed in France transfers its shares to a French financial institution across the time that dividends are paid out to keep away from paying capital positive aspects tax.

The French prosecutors’ assertion says the search concerned six German prosecutors from Cologne, within the framework of European judicial cooperation. It means that overseas shareholders in query included Germans or German entities.

The Cologne prosecutor’s workplace mentioned it can’t touch upon the investigation as a result of “press sovereignty on this case lies with the French investigative authorities.”

An analogous wide-ranging tax evasion investigation in neighboring Germany lately led to searches of banks, different corporations and the houses of businesspeople, resulting in convictions towards some bankers.

A whole lot of bankers allegedly had been concerned in that fraud — involving “cum-ex” transactions through which members swap shares to gather reimbursement for taxes that they had not paid. The rip-off reportedly defrauded taxpayers of billions of euros.

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