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Disgraced former French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac (pictured), who in April confessed to holding a secret foreign bank account while leading a crackdown on tax dodgers, sat on evidence implicating the HSBC bank’s French unit in organizing tax evasion which was handed to him when he was president of the parliamentary finance commission, Mediapart can reveal. The bank is now at the centre of a French judicial investigation, launched in April, into suspected “laundering of the proceeds of tax fraud” and the “illegal prospection” of clients. Cahuzac, who as president of the parliamentary finance commission had the power to launch an independent investigation into the bank’s activities in France, received the information in August 2010, when his brother, Antoine Cahuzac, was a senior director of HSBC’s French arm. Fabrice Arfi and Valentine Oberti report.
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