Tax men raid more millionaire homes

New raids have been carried out in Germany in the Liechtenstein tax evasion scandal, weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

Tax men raid more millionaire homes
Looking carefully. Photo: DPA

It said a number of millionaires from the Munich area in southern Germany were targeted by the public prosecutor’s office in Bochum, western Germany, where a special financial crimes unit is conducting an investigation.

It is working its way through hundreds of people whose names appeared on a customer list of the Liechtenstein bank LGT, a list the German secret service bought from bank employee Heinrich Kieber for nearly five million euros last year.

More than 200 investigations have been started against German customers of the bank LGT suspected of hiding at least part of their fortunes in the tiny Alpine state.

A further 200 or so people have approached the authorities themselves, offering to pay the tax they were trying to avoid in order to spare themselves legal action.

So far the German tax authorities have received up to €250 million in such payments.

Der Spiegel says Munich textile millionaire Peter Frey approached the authorities to make such a payment, but was four minutes too late, and his fax offering details on the money he had in Liechtenstein arrived as officials were entering his house.

The inquiry exploded into the German public eye in February with allegations against the former head of the German postal service, Klaus Zumwinckel and a hugely public raid on his home.

The German tax authorities have launched investigations into 600 people after their names appeared on the alleged client list.

It has also sold details of some 1,400 names on the original list to other nations.

The United States, Britain, Australia, Italy, France, Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, Greece and Spain have all said they too are hunting for taxpayers hiding their money in Liechtenstein.



Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.