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German prosecutors launch tax probe against UBS clients

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German prosecutors launch tax probe against UBS clients

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DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – Prosecutors on Wednesday said they have launched an investigation against clients of Swiss bank UBS <UBSG.S> in Germany on grounds of suspected tax evasion. As part of the probe, premises are being searched by up to 130 prosecutors and tax investigators, the Bochum prosecutors said. German magazine WirtschaftsWoche had earlier reported the searches. A database containing details on 2,000 UBS clients, which was bought by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, forms the basis of the investigation, the prosecutors said. UBS had no immediate comment. Over the past years, the bank has been a regular target of German tax investigators, which have repeatedly bought CDs with client data. In 2014, UBS paid 300 million euros (262.90 million pounds)to settle claims by German authorities that it helped wealthy Germans to dodge taxes. Since then, the focus of tax investigators has shifted from the bank to its clients.

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Christoph Steitz)
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