Police detain UBS Belgium chief in probe of suspected multi-billion tax fraud

BRUSSELS – Prosecutors say police have detained the head of the Belgian division of Swiss bank UBS on suspicion that he and the firm helped wealthy clients evade billions of euros in taxes.

Prosecutors in Brussels said 40 officers on Thursday raided several premises, including the home of UBS Belgium’s Chief Executive Marcel Bruehwiler. A decision on whether Bruehwiler will remain in custody is due later Thursday.

They say the amount of tax avoidance allegedly facilitated by UBS is unknown but “is estimated to total several billion euros.”

Prosecutors say the information leading to the raid came from compliance officers who had left UBS or had been fired and no longer supported the bank’s tactics.

UBS said its Belgian division does not support tax evasion and will fully co-operate with the investigation.