July 24, 2021

Greek prosecutors investigating tax evaders raid UBS office

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ubs-chances-of-greek-default-now-greater-than-50.w_lFrom CNBC

ATHENS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Greek financial prosecutors have raided a UBS office in Athens seizing records as part of an investigation into possible tax evasion by holders of large bank deposits abroad, court officials said on Tuesday.

Germany provided Greek authorities with information on suspected tax evaders last month in a move to help Athens fulfill its promise to international creditors to crack down on tax evasion.

The western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia handed more than 10,000 data sets on accounts of Greeks in Switzerland to the Greek finance ministry in a move that could help it boost tax revenue.

The information concerned accounts held by private individuals and companies with assets estimated to be worth up to 4 billion Swiss francs ($3.92 billion).

“The search (at the UBS office) was decided upon because the bulk of the accounts in the North Rhine-Westphalia list were opened at this bank and it was deemed necessary to seek additional data,” a court official said, declining to be named.

Prosecutors conducted the search last week.

A UBS spokesman said the bank was aware of reports of the raid but declined to comment further.

A first processing of the data obtained by the prosecutors identified about 200 depositors with accounts ranging from 1.5 million to 12 million euros, the official said.

“Records of account numbers, amounts and names were seized and in cases where there were no funds, the accounts were cross-checked with the data provided from the German state,” the official said.

Greek authorities estimate that their clampdown of tax evasion could generate tax of almost 2.0 billion euros.

Greece’s leftist-led government has vowed to go after tax dodgers, one of the policy commitments it signed up to when Athens signed an 86-billion-euro bailout with its partners after months of wrangling in July.

Germany’s North Rhine Westphalia has received data on tax evaders from Swiss authorities since 2010. Sources close to the state prosecutor in Cologne have said about 30 legal investigations into international banks and their branches are under way.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos in Athens and Oliver Hirt in Zurich; editing by Jason Neely)

For more on this story go to: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/15/reuters-america-greek-prosecutors-investigating-tax-evaders-raid-ubs-office.html

IMAGE: www.thetoc.gr

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