Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Police raids over Rangers purchase

Category : World News

Police carry out a series of raids relating to the purchase of Rangers Football Club by Craig Whyte from Sir David Murray.

Read the original: Police raids over Rangers purchase

Post to Twitter

Deutsche Bank offices raided amid tax evasion inquiry

Category : Business

German authorities investigate 25 Deutsche Bank staff, including co-chief executive Jürgen Fitschen, on suspicion of tax scam

Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Jürgen Fitschen has been drawn into a widening tax evasion investigation related to carbon trading at Germany’s biggest lender as hundreds of police and tax inspectors raided the bank’s offices.

Prosecutors said they were investigating 25 staff on suspicion of tax evasion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, and searched the headquarters and private residences in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.

“Two of Deutsche Bank’s management board members, Jürgen Fitschen and Stefan Krause, are involved in the investigations as they signed the value-added tax statement for 2009,” the lender said. In 2009, Fitschen was Germany chief and Krause was chief financial officer, a post he has retained.

About 500 police and tax inspectors raided Deutsche Bank, arresting five staff in an inquiry linked to a tax scam involving the trading of carbon permits. Tax officials clutching backpacks and suitcases were seen leaving the bank’s twin-tower headquarters in Frankfurt. About 20 police minibuses and two coaches were parked outside.

The raids mark a setback for Deutsche’s efforts to polish its image. The bank is struggling with lawsuits in the US and UK connected to allegations of Libor manipulation and the mis-selling of subprime assets during the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Armed police officers were stationed in the bank’s lobby and appeared to be co-ordinating a search of the towers. They declined to comment on the exact nature of the raids.

Deutsche Bank on Wednesday it was co-operating fully with the authorities and declined comment on the arrests. It added: “Public prosecutors searched Deutsche Bank offices in connection with investigations that have been under way since the spring of 2010 against individuals suspected of tax evasion in the trading of CO2 emission certificates.”

German UBS clients raided on suspicion of tax evasion

Category : Business

About 50 investigators carry out raids on hundreds of people across country after order by state prosecutor’s office in Bochum

German tax investigators on Monday carried out searches of hundreds of clients of Swiss bank UBS on suspicion of tax evasion. The raids, carried out by around 50 tax investigators across the country, were ordered by the state prosecutor’s office in the city of Bochum.

“There is an investigation into several hundred domestic customers of the Swiss bank UBS on suspicion of tax evasion,” spokesman Norbert Salamon said.

Prosecutors based their investigation on data contained on a computer disk purchased by the authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Bochum is situated. The finance ministry in the state, which is ruled by the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, has purchased a total of six CDs since 2010 in order to track down tax evaders.

Back in 2007, the German foreign intelligence agency paid a thief €4.6m (£3.7m) for information on German tax evaders with accounts in Liechtenstein. The most high-profile tax dodger exposed was the chief executive of Deutsche Post, Klaus Zumwinkel.

State prosecutors in the city of Mannheim said last week they were investigating UBS employees on suspicion of helping clients to evade tax.

The bank has denied any wrongdoing. “UBS fully supports the concern for German clients to be tax compliant,” UBS spokesman Yves Kaufmann Lobato said in an emailed statement. “In 2009, UBS undertook a thorough scrutiny of its cross-border business and adapted the rules where necessary. UBS takes disciplinary action against any employee who commits infractions against these rules, up to dismissal.”

Members of the SPD have warned that the latest developments concerning UBS could further undermine the German government’s attempt to secure a tax deal with Switzerland.

The treaty, which was negotiated by the German finance minster, Wolfgang Schäuble, and is supposed to come into effect on 1 January, would see an amnesty for Germans with assets in Swiss banks in exchange for a retroactive taxation rate of between 21% and 41%.

The Bundestag has already approved the deal but it needs to also pass the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat in which the federal states are represented and where Chancellor Merkel’s centre-right government no longer enjoys a majority.

The SPD has already vowed to block the agreement, arguing that it is too easy on tax evaders who can remain anonymous. Furthermore, it argues that wealthy clients will simply shift their money out of Switzerland before the treaty comes into effect.

The German Finance Ministry has said it doesn’t expect Monday’s raids to influence the approval of the tax deal.

“We are of the opinion that these are two separate issues,” ministry spokesman Martin Chaudhuri told the Guardian. “We see no connection between the individual investigations and the tax agreement.”

Serious Fraud Office faces humiliation in bitter battle with Vincent Tchenguiz

Category : Business

After bungling a search of Tchenguiz’s home, the ailing SFO is likely to suffer a stinging rebuke in court – and perhaps lose its biggest case altogether

Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general who pressurised the Serious Fraud Office into abandoning its probe into BAE, has now suggested that the embattled agency is clinging on to its largest case in a decade “like Mr Micawber, in the hope that something will turn up”, even though it has fatal flaws.

Goldsmith’s incendiary remarks come as he represents Mayfair property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz in hearings with the agency before a full judicial review next month. Tchenguiz is challenging the SFO’s probe into suspected corrupt relationships between him, his brother Robert, and former bosses at the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which collapsed in October 2008. The allegations are denied by all concerned.

The SFO is already braced for savage criticism next month from Lord Justice Thomas, one of Britain’s most senior appeal court judges. The agency was given a taste of what is to come at a preparatory hearing this month: Thomas described the SFO’s inability to fully explain glaring and fundamental errors on search warrants used more than a year ago for raids on Vincent Tchenguiz’s home and London offices as “sheer incompetence”.

Vincent Tchenguiz is seeking damages of considerably more than £100m, over three times the SFO’s annual budget. His brother too has won a judicial review.

Both brothers, together with a handful of former Kaupthing bankers, were targeted in dawn raids involving more than 130 police officers in March last year as part of co-ordinated searches in London and Reykjavik.

In February the SFO conceded that the warrant used in the search of Vincent Tchenguiz’s home and Park Lane office was hopelessly flawed. The agency’s director, Richard Alderman, was forced to issue a humiliating apology. SFO lawyers told the court of “very regrettable errors” that had led to the search warrant being “inadvertently miscast”.

Alderman, who officially stepped down last week as his contract came to an end, told the court that he was aware of the “utmost seriousness” of the mistakes, which he conceded “involve a wholesale challenge to the SFO’s competence and the good faith of its staff”.

The case controller left the agency less than a month after the raids, and his successor has also since departed, as has the lead lawyer on the case. Two weeks ago, Alderman’s number two, chief executive Phillippa Williamson, abruptly announced that she would be following her boss out of the door.

A full explanation of how investigators had got the warrant so wrong has been demanded by Thomas before next month’s judicial review, but a reeling SFO – which has, separately, seen suggestions about its dissolution resurface – has repeatedly pleaded for more time.

This month, Thomas lost patience after being told once again that the prosecutors wanted an extension, in part because Alderman had chosen to take a trip to Tanzania on other matters rather than focus on the crisis at hand. “In my whole experience of litigation, I simply don’t understand it. If the director has gone off, and he has unavoidable commitments, I’m afraid I’m not now, to the remotest degree, sympathetic,” the judge fumed earlier this month. “Why wasn’t I told the truth, that there was a major problem? There is only one explanation for this: sheer incompetence.”

Appearing for Tchenguiz, Goldsmith suggested that the whole investigation be brought to a halt: “What is it that’s going on? Are they [the SFO], just like Mr Micawber, hoping that something will turn up if they continue their work long enough?”

Outside the court, Tchenguiz said: “When I was a schoolboy I used to claim the dog had eaten my homework. It’s fine for a schoolboy, but pretty feeble for a publicly funded regulator.”

The episode marks an embarrassing end for Alderman, whose time in charge has been dominated by budget cuts of more than 30% and a ruthless purge of almost all of the SFO’s most senior and experienced prosecutors. There is little to suggest the SFO boss had been eager to clear up the matter of the search warrant before he departed.

The only large investigation launched during Alderman’s tenure has been the probe into Kaupthing. It remains to be seen whether incoming boss David Green QC will share Alderman’s determination to press ahead with the Tchenguiz case. For now, the evidence seized remains in effective quarantine with a law firm – technically returned to Tchenguiz but still held in limbo pending resolution of the review.

Even if Thomas rules that the integrity of the investigation has not been fatally compromised, Green may yet choose to draw the troublesome case to a close, as Alderman did with a number of cases shortly after his appointment. An appropriate opportunity to close a sorry chapter in SFO history might present itself when Thomas next month delivers what is expected to be a harsh final verdict on the conduct of the agency.

Such a move is unlikely to risk upsetting anyone at Conservative Central Office. Vincent Tchenguiz and his Vincos investment vehicle donated £123,820 to the Tories between 2006 and 2010. Meanwhile his brother Robert and sister Lisa have given £70,820 and £100,000 respectively.

Afghans, US sign deal on night raids – The Associated Press

Category : Stocks

The Associated Press
Afghans, US sign deal on night raids
The Associated Press
By HEIDI VOGT, AP – 1 minute ago KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The US and Afghanistan signed a deal Sunday giving Afghans authority over raids of Afghan homes, resolving one of the most contentious issues between the two wartime allies.
United States and Afghanistan sign deal on night raidsWashington Post
US resolves Taliban night raids disputeFinancial Times
Deal Reached on Contested Afghan Night RaidsNew York Times
CNN International

Post to Twitter

French police arrest ‘radical Muslims’

Category : World News

Police arrest 19 people in Toulouse and other cities in raids President Nicolas Sarkozy says targeted “radical Islam”.

Read the original here: French police arrest ‘radical Muslims’

Post to Twitter

4 Quebec firefighters arrested in raids tied to illegal cigarettes

Category : World News

Four members of the Godmanchester volunteer fire department, including the chief, were among 20 people arrested in a series of raids in Quebec cracking down on illegal cigarette operations.

Visit link: 4 Quebec firefighters arrested in raids tied to illegal cigarettes

Post to Twitter

Gaza truce holds despite exchange of fire

Category : World News

Israel carries out two air raids as Palestinian fighters fire rockets amid shaky ceasefire.

See original here: Gaza truce holds despite exchange of fire

Post to Twitter

Iraqi forces targeted in deadly attacks

Category : World News

Armed men dressed in police uniforms kill 27 officers, including two commanders, after raids on checkpoints in Haditha.

Link: Iraqi forces targeted in deadly attacks

Post to Twitter