Italian financial police said Thursday that they have sequestered assets worth 46 million euros ($60 million) owned by executives at the luxury group Bulgari accused of tax evasion.
The action concerned bank accounts, insurance policies, shareholdings and real-estate, a statement said.
The assets belong to Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, historic shareholders in the company, along with its current boss Maurizio Valentini and his predecessor Francesco Trapani.The four have been accused of avoiding Italian taxes via fraudulent declarations of around three billion euros in sales through companies based in the Netherlands and Ireland.
Funds involved in the plan were also allegedly transferred through companies that the four accused controlled in Switzerland, the Italian police said.
They added that Ireland is "the only country that is not considered a tax haven which also has a light tax rate of 12.5 percent."
When reports emerged more than two months ago that Bulgari was under investigation, Trapani, who ran the company for almost 30 years, said "it always respected fiscal rules in Italy and abroad."
Claiming that Bulgari has been the target of "dozens and dozens of fiscal controls," Trapani had then called the police charges "grotesque and unfounded" and maintained that the controls had always cleared the company of any wrongdoing.