AGF Belgium under Investigation in Tax Probe

February 26, 2003

According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires a Brussels judge has placed AGF Belgium and the chairman of its management committee, Louis de Montferrand, under investigation as part of a five-year probe into an alleged 56 million Euro [$60.5 million] tax evasion scheme.

According to a report from Dow Jones Newswires a Brussels judge has placed AGF Belgium and the chairman of its management committee, Louis de Montferrand, under investigation as part of a five-year probe into an alleged 56 million Euro [$60.5 million] tax evasion scheme.

The company is the Belgian subsidiary of Assurances Generales de France SA, part of Germany’s Allianz Group. Prosecutors contend that, under the scheme, tax authorities were misled into believing that money invested in Belgium under life insurance contracts had in fact been invested in neighboring Luxembourg. The report said that prosecutors suspect that as much as 223 million Euros ($240 million) in profits were allegedly transferred to a shell company in the Duchy, evading payment of a 25% tax.

The Belgian judge, who is the chief investigator, officially opened the investigation after questioning de Montferrand on Monday. AGF Belgium’s secretary-general was also questioned but released without further action.

AGF reportedly indicated that it stopped selling the Luxembourg-registered life insurance product allegedly used in the scheme in 1998 after management discovered that under Belgian law it was being used illegally.

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