Swiss authority closes probe into firm once led by econ minister

ZURICH Fri Feb 7, 2014 12:08pm EST

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ZURICH Feb 7 (Reuters) - Swiss tax authorities have closed an investigation into the records of a company once led by the country's economy minister that had been triggered by reports the firm had held millions of Swiss francs in an offshore tax haven.

"We consider the matter as closed," said Yvonne von Kauffungen, spokeswoman for the tax authority of the canton of Berne, declining to give further details.

The Ammann-Group, a family-owned engineering group that was led by Swiss economy minister Johann Schneider-Ammann from 1989 until his election to the Swiss government in 2010, said in a statement the tax authority had found no irregularities.

Swiss television programme SRF Rundschau reported had last month that Ammann-Group had kept 263.5 million Swiss francs ($290 million) in Jersey until 2009, when the money was transferred back to Switzerland, a year before Schneider-Ammann joined the government.

The group said then that it had kept the appropriate tax authorities and auditors completely informed at all times and had complied with all laws. ($1 = 0.8982 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Alice Baghdjian)

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