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Italian Jeweller Bulgari probed over tax evasion

Italian jeweller Bulgari, which was bought last year by French luxury giant LVMH, is being investigated for alleged tax evasion via Ireland and Luxembourg, Italian media has reported.

The company is accused of routing its revenues through countries with lower taxes to avoid paying higher taxes in Italy and thereby dodging some €70 million ($93 million) in taxes, the Corriere della Sera and Messaggero dailies reported.

Contacted by AFP, representatives of LVMH and Italian tax police could not be reached.

Bulgari director Francesco Trapani was quoted by Corriere as saying that the company had “always respected tax regulations in Italy and abroad”. “We need a strong state against tax evasion but also a bit of common sense that allows those who respect the rules to continue working,” he said.

Bulgari reported a net profit of €38 million in 2010 and was bought by LVMH in March for €4.3 billion in a deal to challenge Cartier and Tiffany in the global luxury jewellery business.

Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana is on trial on a similar accusation of using a shell company in Luxembourg to avoid paying Italian taxes.

The famous fashion duo are accused of failing to declare €840 million in revenues.

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