Wealthy Belgians have managed to hide money from tax authorities and justice for years with the help of Prince Henri de Croÿ’s Belgian network, according to a survey published in De Tijd and L’Echo on Saturday. Journalists tracked large fortunes by scrutinizing over 3,100 e-mails and other leaked documents.
Forty individuals were identified by the journalists. These persons entrusted sums of up to 13 million euros to Henri de Croÿ, who enabled them to hide their money by way of secret accounts in the UAE, the Bahamas or Puerto Rico under the name of shell companies or other notches by way of an international network of straw men.
The prince also facilitated the use of their money on Belgian soil, notably through agents. Some have also benefited from untraceable anonymous credit cards.
Henri de Croÿ had already been prosecuted in Belgium before Liege’s Court of Appeal in 2015, but was fully acquitted, closing a file worth 32 million euros.
French justice is now interested, suspecting him of having helped France’s wealthiest to conceal millions.
Prince Henry de Croÿ’s Swiss lawyer says his client has done nothing illegal. These were legal tax optimization operations, he said.