Canada tax-haven probe names RBC Dominion clients

Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:20pm EST
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By Pav Jordan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's top taxman says he has a list of at least 106 names of people who allegedly used the trading arm of the nation's top bank, Royal Bank of Canada, to set up offshore tax havens in the European principality of Liechtenstein.

Minister of National Revenue Jean-Pierre Blackburn also told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the government's investigation of use of tax havens will spread across Canada and to other banks following a tip-off that produced the list of RBC Dominion Securities clients.

"We received some information from an informant who gave us a list of 106 names of people who have made investments in the LGT bank in Lichtenstein," Blackburn told Reuters, adding that 46 files have been created from the list, with 10 of them already audited.

The investigation currently involves investors in and around Victoria, British Columbia, who allegedly used RBC Dominion and two RBC Dominion advisers as a conduit to park their money in foundations in Liechtenstein.

Specifically, the investors were said to be using a unit of Liechtenstein Bank, LGT Treuhand, to create entities and conceal their wealth abroad, and avoid paying taxes.

Blackburn said the government filed so-called "unnamed requirement" requests with Canadian courts in July to access information regarding the two RBC DS advisers' clients across Canada, and expects new information to come to light.


He said RBC Dominion Securities is cooperating fully with the investigation.   Continued...