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
($1 = 0.8959 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Erica Billingham)