Tax men raid more millionaire homes

Tax men raid more millionaire homes
Looking carefully. Photo: DPA
New raids have been carried out in Germany in the Liechtenstein tax evasion scandal, weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

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.