Geneva police raid sex parlours over ‘tax fraud’

Geneva cantonal police raided eight erotic massage parlours on Tuesday for an investigation into tax fraud allegedly amounting to several million francs.

Geneva police raid sex parlours over 'tax fraud'
Photo: Joshua Rindner

Police said the parlours are all owned by the same individual.

Le Matin reported online that the establishments are the Geneva-Girls salons and "villas" owned by a person of Hungarian origin.

The raids followed “a bundle of evidence and information analysed these last months by tax authorities in Bern and Geneva in cooperation with the Geneva police vice squad,” cantonal police said in a news release.

This made the suspicion of tax fraud contraventions “likely”, said the release issued in conjunction with the Geneva tax collection administration.

Estimates indicated an evasion of taxes of “several million francs”, the authorities said.

Geneva-Girls advertises its various salons online, promising such hard core services as “sodomy”, “domination”, “fellatio” and “fisting” offered by 60 to 70 "hosteses".

The site, with photos of its topless or skimpily clad "girls", says customers can “make love for 100 francs” or benefit from other services such as a half-hour “Lesbos” show for 400 francs and escort services starting at 450 francs.

Federal and cantonal tax collectors made “significant seizures” from the sex parlours, police said.

This material will be the subject of detailed examination by the tax authorities, according to the statement.

The police vice squad will conducting additional investigations of its own into the affair.

American gangster Al Capone also came a cropper over tax fraud, an unnamed source told Le Matin, who called into question the working conditions for the women working in the sex parlours, most of them originally from Hungary.

Police declined to comment further on the case. 

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, although it is regulated, while street prostitution is banned except in certain specified red light districts in major cities.

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Thieves ram car into Geneva watch boutique

Thieves rammed a car into the door of high-end watch company Zenith's store in the heart of Geneva Thursday and cleared out its display cases, the Swiss firm said.

Thieves ram car into Geneva watch boutique
Zenith watch boutique before the break-in. Photo: Zenith

Zenith, which belongs to French luxury conglomerate LVMH, said that the door of its boutique on Geneva's upscale Rue du Rhone was thought to have been rammed by a car shortly after 5am.

The thieves abandoned the car used to penetrate the store, a Renault Mégane stolen in Geneva, the Tribune de Genève reported.

Zenith spokeswoman Maud Tiberti told AFP that the thieves made off with 30 watches, but could not immediately provide a value for the haul.
The loss of the watches, coupled with the damage to the store, totalled one 
million francs ($1.1 million), she said.
Zenith opened the boutique in the chic shopping area in December 2011.