5 countries launch tax evasion sweep linked to Credit Suisse

Over coming days taskforce investigators will interview Australian bank employees lawyers and taxpayers

Over coming days taskforce investigators will interview Australian bank employees lawyers and taxpayers

The bank's statement followed an announcement by Dutch prosecutors that they had arrested two people and seized assets including a gold bar and jewelry as part of a coordinated investigation into tax evasion in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

The Dutch national tax administration said it suspects funds worth several million euro have been hidden from authorities.

Paintings, a gold bar, cash, a luxury vehicle and jewellery have been seized.

"The worldwide reach of this investigation sends a clear message that there is no hiding place for those seeking to evade tax", Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters. The name of the bank involved hasn't been disclosed.

Prosecutors added they had acquired information "about thousands of account holders". We are cooperating with the authorities'.

The Swiss bank said Friday that the contacts took place a day earlier, emphasizing its "strategy of full client tax compliance".

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Similar operations in Britain, France, Germany and Australia all focused on clients who "deposited their money in the same Swiss bank", according to FIOD.

British tax authorities, meanwhile, said they launched a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion that was focused on senior employees of the unspecified financial firm and a number of customers.

According to the Tax Authorities, the details about hidden assets in Swiss bank accounts can be compared to the Panama Papers that leaked previous year. Two people were arrested.

"We have implemented the Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs and exited non-compliant clients". The leader of the tax probe into Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR) is the Netherlands' FIOD, which handles financial investigations.

Australia's minister for revenue and financial services, Kelly O'Dwyer, said the country's financial crime investigator was looking at 340 Australians linked to Swiss bank accounts, which she said were only identified by number.

The coordinated probe comes as Credit Suisse rolls out its new Automatic Exchange of Information programme created to share taxpayer information with relevant global authorities as part of a wider Swiss crackdown on money laundering and secretive banking. About 100 countries, or jurisdictions, including Switzerland, have agreed to collect data from banks to share annually with other tax authorities, making it harder for tax dodgers and money launderers to hide money with private banks.