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Investigators search Jean-Marie Le Pen’s manor house in tax fraud probe

National Front founder is under investigation over suspected tax fraud.
National Front founder is under investigation over suspected tax fraud. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The manor house of far-right National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was raided on Wednesday by French investigators as part of a probe into suspected tax fraud.

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The investigation against the 87-year-old founder of the FN was opened by financial prosecutors in June over suspicions he had stashed money abroad and failed to declare property, a judicial source said.

According to a source, anti-corruption investigators are looking into an account in the British Virgin Islands which is linked to an account in Geneva operated by Le Pen's personal assistant.

The Virgin Islands account was closed last year and the funds moved to a bank in the Bahamas.

French media company Mediapart reported the investigation into the Geneva trust earlier this year, saying it contained at least 2.2 million euros, most of it in gold bullion and coins.

Le Pen denied the trust's existence, saying the search was an "unjustified act of judicial violence".

“I once again deny in any way breaking the law. I have been subject to minute, even inquisitorial, attention by tax authorities for dozens of years,” he said.
 

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