The information is relayed Thursday in Le Soir, De Tijd and Knack, the Belgian dailies which had helped to reveal the global tax evasion scandal. These data are analyzed according to the usual methods, specifies the minister in an answer to a parliamentary question of the deputy Marc Van Hees (PTB).
Already in August 2017, said the minister, the ISI had contacted the BKA (Bundeskriminalamt, the German federal police) in order to obtain first-hand documents on possible cases of tax evasion disclosed by the press but could not obtain satisfaction, “since the ISI does not have police powers”. Then, as reported in particular by Le Soir, led by the examining magistrate Michel Claise, Belgian investigators had visited their German counterparts in June 2018 in order to learn more about the “Experta” case, named after a former subsidiary of the Franco-Belgian group Dexia, which was among the most important clients of the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca. The German authorities had indeed, shortly after the publication of these Panama Papers, been able to buy a large part of the original documents from the whistleblower. And had accepted the principle of sharing with their neighbors.
Relying in particular on articles published in the press, the Belgian tax authorities said they had closed 239 cases and kept 25 open: enough to recover at least, hopes the administration, 29.8 million euros.
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