“A criminal investigation has been opened against Credit Suisse for money laundering and unlawfully acting as a financial intermediary, as well as against Belgian customers who have not yet undergone tax regularisation.”
On several occasions, the tax authorities in Belgium have offered a partial amnesty, making it effectively possible for them to launder their money legally on payment of a fine.
The investigation was triggered by leaked documents detailing 2,600 Belgian clients of the bank.
The object of the operation was to hide the money in the Credit Suisse accounts from the Belgian tax authorities – a practice that better international cooperation is making more and more tough to put into practice.
In some cases, the money concerned disappeared into strawman companies established in tax havens specifically to act as smoke-screens to tax investigators by making it impossible to find out who the owners of the companies really are.
“We are not aware of an investigation against Credit Suisse in Belgium,” a spokesman for the bank told Belga news agency.
“Credit Suisse has a strict zero tolerance policy and only wants to do business with customers who have paid their taxes and fully declared their assets. We strictly comply with all laws, rules and guidelines that apply in the markets in which we operate.”