UBS Belgium boss held in tax fraud investigation
Belgian investigators detained the head of UBS Belgium on Thursday for questioning in connection with an alleged multi-billion euro tax fraud by the Swiss bank’s Belgian unit.
Belgian police carried out raids on Thursday morning at the bank and at the homes of a client and of UBS Belgium chief executive Marcel Bruehwiler, prosecutors told a news conference.
Bruehwiler was then taken in for questioning by a judge.
“Preliminary investigations show evidence of organised behaviour probably allowing fraudulent tax evasion,” the prosecutors said in a statement.
Information had come from compliance officers who had either left or been fired by UBS Belgium, prosecutors said.
“These people could no longer tolerate the fraudulent practices, which they brought to light,” the statement said.
UBS said it is fully cooperating with the Belgian authorities and does not tolerate any activities intended to help its clients circumvent their tax obligations.
Brussels prosecutors said earlier this month that they had launched an investigation into UBS Belgium for suspected money laundering and organised crime.
The Swiss bank offers wealth management services in Belgium with offices in Brsels, Antwerp and Ghent.