MILAN Oct 21 A former top executive at Swiss
bank UBS wanted in the United States for allegedly
helping wealthy Americans avoid paying tax was arrested in Italy
at the weekend, the Bologna police said on Monday.
The United States declared Raoul Weil a fugitive in early
2009 after the former head of UBS's wealth management business
failed to surrender to U.S. authorities on charges he conspired
to help 17,000 Americans hide assets worth $20 billion in Swiss
That year, UBS was fined $780 million and agreed to hand
over the names of about 4,450 U.S. clients with secret Swiss
bank accounts to avoid facing criminal charges. The deal with
the United States marked an historic break with Switzerland's
tradition of bank secrecy.
A spokeswoman for the Bologna police said on Monday the
arrest of the former banker had taken place on Saturday morning
and she did not know whether he was still in the prison where
police had taken him.
"Mr Weil checked into a Bologna hotel and this set off an
alert system because there is an international arrest warrant
for him coming from the U.S.," the spokeswoman said.
Reuters was not immediately able to contact Weil or a legal
representative for him.
When Weil was indicted in November 2008, his attorney said
he was innocent and called the indictment against him "totally
A UBS spokesman said on Monday that Weil was discharged from
this duties at the bank when he was indicted.
UBS's 2009 fine was followed this year with a deal between
the Swiss and U.S. governments allowing some other Swiss banks
to pay fines to avoid or defer prosecution over tax evasion by
their U.S. customers.