By Jason Theodorou

German prosecutors have raided 13 branches of the Swiss bank Credit Suisse AG, as part of an investigation of alleged tax evasion. At least 140 police officers were searching branches in Berlin, Munich and Dusseldorf, on the strength of information found on a CD which suggested tax evasion through Switzerland.

Prosecutors said that Credit Suisse employees were instrumental in tax evasion, acting as accessories for clients illegally evading their responsibilities. Tax workers bought a CD which allegedly held the information of 1,100 affluent German citizens.

The data was the touchpaper for an investigation of the 1,100 people - who officials believed were stashing £1 billion of untaxed income in Swiss bank accounts. This investigation eventually came to center on the bank staff who enabled their clients to avoid their taxes.

The investigation is part of wider attempts by international lawmakers to prosecute tax evaders who make use of Swiss banks. German authorities allegedly spent nearly 2.5 million euros for the CD which motivated the raids.

Credit Suisse said in a statement that the bank is 'working in close cooperation with the relevant local authorities'. Shares in the group had fallen by 1.3% on Wednesday, falling by 2.2% immediately following the announcement.

French and UK authorities have also been known to buy information which leads to the investigation of affluent customers who shelter money in Swiss bank accounts. Germany has been strict in clamping down on German tax evaders, and it's no surprise with an estimated 200 billion euros in undeclared funds in Switzerland.


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