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Gucci confirms tax evasion probe

Italian fashion giant Gucci on Monday said police raided its offices over suspected tax evasion, confirming a report in the Italian press.

Gucci confirms tax evasion probe
Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

The Milan public prosecutor suspects the fashion house of declaring several years worth of Italian sales in Switzerland, thereby saving around €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) in domestic tax, La Stampa daily said.

The investigation is reportedly based on information from a former senior Gucci employee who has since left the company, which is part of French luxury group Kering.

La Stampa said financial police had spent at least three days searching Gucci's new, ultra-modern Milan headquarters and also other offices.

“With respect to an article concerning an audit by the local tax police conducted at Gucci'ls offices in Florence and Milan published in an Italian newspaper today, Gucci confirms that it is providing its full cooperation to the respective authorities and is confident about the correctness and transparency of its operations,” Gucci said in a statement.

Four years ago, fellow Italian fashion behemoth Prada had to pay €470 million to the Italian taxman after it declared a decade's worth of home revenue abroad.

The Italian tax dragnet has since extended to tech giants — €318 millions of Italian revenue for Apple and 306 million for Google while investigations are also under way regarding Amazon and Facebook.

Gucci has turned in a strong recent performance with third quarter organic growth of 49.4 percent on €1.5 billion of sales.

MILAN

Romanian billionaire and seven others die in Milan plane crash

A light aircraft piloted by Romanian billionaire Dan Petrescu crashed into an empty office building near Milan on Sunday, killing him, his wife and son, and all five others aboard.

Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato.
Police and rescue teams outside the office building where a small plane crashed in the Milan suburb of San Donato on October 3rd. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The single-engine Pilatus PC-12 had taken off from Milan’s Linate airport shortly after 1pm headed for Olbia in the north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

It crashed just a few minutes later into a building in San Donato Milanese, a town southeast of Milan, according to aviation agency ANSV, which has opened an investigation.

Witnesses said the plane was already in flames before it crashed into an office building undergoing renovations.

Petrescu’s 65-year-old wife, who also had French nationality, and their son Dan Stefano, 30, were killed.

Italian media identified the other passengers as entrepreneur Filippo Nascimbene, a 33-year-old from Lombardy, with his wife, young son and mother-in-law, who have French nationality.

Petrescu, 68, was one of Romania’s richest men. He headed a major construction firm and owned a string of hypermarkets and malls. He also held Germany nationality, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Flames engulfed the two-storey building, next to the yellow line subway terminus.

“The impact was devastating,” Carlo Cardinali, of the Milan fire brigade, told news agency Ansa.

Deputy prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano was quoted by Corriere as saying that the plane’s black box had been recovered.

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