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Swiss to crack down on money laundering


Swiss banks will in future have to refuse money from clients if they suspect that it has not been taxed, under proposals put forward by the government as part of measures to preserve the country’s “integrity” as a financial centre

Also, people wanting to purchase real estate or luxury goods will not be able to put down more than CHF100,000 (7,400) in cash, with the remainder of the transaction being carried out by financial intermediaries who are subject to the law on money laundering.

The two measures are part of a series announced by the government on Wednesday. They are now being submitted to interested parties for their comments, which must be provided by June 15, 2013.

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told journalists after the cabinet meeting that the government would like to see tax fraud worth at least CHF600,000 defined as a crime. This would meet international recommendations. However, she said the exact sum was “not set in stone”.

In such a case, tax fraud would be defined as either the use of forged documents or deception of the tax authorities for the purpose of tax evasion, she explained.