German tax raid on Credit Suisse ‘a success’

By Reuters
Posted July 16, 2010 at 10:47 a.m.

Raids at Credit Suisse’s private banking offices in Germany have been a success and may help identify bank staff in Switzerland as part of a tax evasion clampdown, German prosecutors said Friday.

This week’s raids were the latest steps in an international crackdown on suspected tax cheats in offshore centers that saw Swiss wealth management giant UBS agree to an hefty settlement in a bitter U.S. tax probe last year.

Around 150 officials and prosecutors teamed up to search every Credit Suisse office in Germany after an analysis of a compact disc with names of 1,500 alleged tax dodgers that German tax authorities obtained this year.

The raids yielded huge amounts of data from copied hard drives and more than 100 boxes worth of material, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Duesseldorf said.

“An initial review of the files by our staff leads us to believe the material will be helpful in advancing the investigation,” the spokesman said.

The probe is focused on “identifying unnamed Credit Suisse staff members in Switzerland suspected of aiding tax evasion,” he said.

The files and documents still needed to be fully examined, he said, adding it was too early to draw final conclusions.

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