ZURICH Jan 30 A Swiss cantonal tax authority said on Thursday it was looking into the records of a company once led by the country's economy minister, after local television reported the firm had held millions of Swiss francs in an offshore tax haven.
The Berne tax authority said it was investigating bank accounts, lease contracts, work contracts and commercial registers of a now liquidated Ammann-Group subsidiary company in Jersey, a British Crown dependency.
"We have received indications that in recent years something that was perhaps not ideal, or not right, has occurred. We are now looking again internally at the complete documents," said Bruno Knuesel, head of Berne's tax authority.
Ammann-Group, a family owned engineering company that was led by Johann Schneider-Ammann from 1989 until his election to the Swiss government in 2010, said it had always followed Swiss and local laws.
"The appropriate tax authorities and auditors were kept informed completely and at all times. We complied with all laws," Schneider-Ammann said in a statement.
Earlier, Swiss television programme SRF Rundschau reported that Ammann-Group had kept 263.5 million Swiss francs ($294.1 million) in Jersey until 2009, when the money was transferred back to Switzerland, a year before Schneider-Ammann joined the government. ($1 = 0.8959 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Erica Billingham)