Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

France

L'Oréal heiress sells Seychelles island at heart of tax evasion probe

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-02

L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt has sold an island in the Seychelles for $60 million. France ordered Bettencourt to pay almost $133 million in taxes last year after discovering undeclared accounts and assets, including D’Arros island.

REUTERS - The billionaire heiress to the L’Oreal beauty goods empire, Liliane Bettencourt, has sold a Seychelles island at the heart of a tax evasion case, the archipelago’s government said.

France’s richest woman sold the Indian Ocean island to an offshore company affiliated with Switzerland-based campaign group Save our Seas Foundation for $60 million plus $10.5 million for stamp duty and other taxes, ministers said.

Bettencourt, 89, bought D’Arros island in 1997. Her ownership came to light through media reports in 2010 claiming the island was undeclared to French authorities.

Seychelles Habitat Minister Christian Lionnet told a news conference on Tuesday that the government ordered Bettencourt to pay $8 million after the reports on the grounds that she had failed to properly involve the government in the purchase.

French authorities ordered Bettencourt in 2011 to pay nearly 108 million euros ($133 million) in unpaid taxes after finding undeclared accounts and discovering she owned the island.

A lawyer for the Bettencourt family declined to comment on the sale when contacted by Reuters.

D’Arros island, only 1.25 miles (2 km) long, is due to be turned into a nature reserve after its purchase by SOSF.

“We are very happy because the new owners are conservation oriented, they have proven themselves with a good track record,” Seychelles Environment Minister Rolph Payet said.

A French investigation is looking into financial relations between Bettencourt and former president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose house police raided earlier this month as part of the inquiry. In one strand, investigators are trying to establish whether Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign was funded illicitly.
 

Date created : 2012-08-02

  • FRANCE

    Police raid may be beginning of Sarkozy's legal woes

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    L'Oreal heiress scandal is back in the headlines

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French court places L’Oreal heiress under guardianship

    Read more

COMMENT(S)