Tax investigators from the Netherlands and the UK have detained a Dutch man and his British wife after seizing assets worth more than €6 million as part of a probe into a multi-national tax avoidance scheme.
During a series of raids in the UK, the Netherlands and Austria, officers impounded a speedboat, high-end properties, luxury cars, computers and a significant quantity of cash
The couple, who are said to run a marketing company in the north of England, attracted the attention of Dutch authorities when they withdrew more than €300,000 in cash using credit cards linked to offshore accounts.
They were detained on suspicion of being involved in the running of a multimillion-euro tax avoidance and money laundering scam.
“A 51-year-old Dutch man and his British wife, 46, were arrested after a joint investigation with the British Revenue and Customs Service and more than [€6 million] has been confiscated,” the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) said in a statement.
“The couple allegedly used their marketing business in Manchester to commit tax fraud and launder money via offshore accounts in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.”
Dutch investigators said they suspected the couple of committing tax fraud using a complex web of companies and offshore accounts.
The FIOD was alerted to the couple’s large cash withdrawal by a system that automatically flags cards linked to foreign assets and checks whether tax has been paid on them.
“Their assumed illegally obtained profits have been laundered in the Netherlands, where the suspects own two houses, where they stay on a regular basis,” the FIOD said.
The arrests come a week after Dutch investigators launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering and tax evasion at Credit Suisse.
The FIOD did not say whether the couple’s arrest was linked to a series of raids on the bank’s offices in a number of countries last Thursday, but did mention it had recently received information on more than 3,000 Dutch individuals from an unnamed Swiss bank.
The Netherlands’ Fiscal Information and Investigation Service said last week it had been handed information about 55,000 suspect Credit Suisse accounts, and that it had arrested two people after carrying out raids that resulted in the seizure assets said to be worth millions of euros.
Switzerland’s second-biggest bank took out advertisements in a number of British newspapers on Sunday highlighting its “zero tolerance” policy on tax evasion, and stressing that it complies with the law in every market in which it operates.
Speaking with Bloomberg after news of the raids broke, Head of International Wealth Management at Credit Suisse Iqbal Khan said he believed the investigation was focused on clients of the bank, indicating it did not involve any of its employees.