Credit Suisse snared in international tax probe

credit suisse offices raided

Credit Suisse has been caught up in an international tax investigation covering at least three countries.

The Swiss bank said Friday that its offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam were contacted on Thursday by local authorities concerning client tax matters.

"We are cooperating with the authorities," Credit Suisse (CS) said.

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 U.K. and France.

Prosecutors did not identify the bank concerned, but said only one Swiss bank was involved.

"The suspects with undeclared savings in the above-mentioned countries all deposited their money in the same Swiss bank," the Dutch authorities said in a statement.

More operations are planned as the investigators sort through information about thousands of account holders. Dutch prosecutors said they were acting on a tip off about as many as 55,000 accounts abroad and nearly 4,000 in the Netherlands.

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A pricey car and expensive paintings were among the items seized in the raid on homes in The Hague and other towns in the Netherlands, the Dutch authorities said. Documents were also seized from the bank.

British tax authorities confirmed they had launched a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering "by a global financial institution and certain of its employees."

"The first phase of the investigation, which will see further, targeted activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers," they said.