Tags: EU | Germany | Switzerland | Tax | Evasion

German Authorities Search Credit Suisse Branches

Wednesday, 14 Jul 2010 06:45 AM

Police searched all 13 branches of Swiss bank Credit Suisse AG in Germany on Wednesday in an investigation of suspected tax evasion, prosecutors said.

Some 140 officers searched branches in Berlin, Duesseldorf, Munich and other German cities based on findings from a recently bought CD containing data documenting alleged tax evasion via Switzerland, Duesseldorf prosecutor Johannes Mocken said.

Prosecutors suspect unidentified employees of Credit Suisse of being accessories to tax evasion.

Germany has opened 1,100 tax evasion cases based on the CD, Mocken said. He couldn't give any further information on the searches since they were still ongoing.

A spokesman for Credit Suisse in Zurich said the bank was cooperating in the investigation with local authorities in Germany.

"We confirm that the German offices of Credit Suisse (Deutschland) AG are being searched," Marc Dosch told The Associated Press.

"Credit Suisse is working in close cooperation with the relevant local authorities. As this concerns an ongoing investigation we can provide no further comment."

In April, Credit Suisse's CEO Renato Fassbind had said it appeared increasingly likely that some of Credit Suisse's clients were listed on a disk containing stolen data purchased earlier this year by German authorities investigating alleged tax cheats.

"We still have no concrete evidence about this case in the format of an official statement," he said at the time.

The company is due to report its second quarter results next week.

Credit Suisse shares sank 1.3 percent to 45.09 Swiss francs ($42.68) on the Zurich exchange

Germany has been one of the harshest critics of neighboring Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws. Switzerland has in turn criticized German tax authorities' purchase of stolen data on German account holders in the Alpine nation.

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