- The 87-year-old was allegedly questioned in long-running £1billion dispute
- HMRC have been investigation offshore Bambino trust for more than 10 years
- It was set up in 1997 and is thought to have raise £3billion from selling F1 stakes
Former racing chief Bernie Ecclestone has been questioned as authorities intensified scrutiny in a £1billion probe, it has emerged.
The 87-year-old was reportedly quizzed under caution by HMRC in central London at a police station.
The ex-Formula 1 boss has consistently denied owing up to £1billion and was allegedly quizzed over his £2.5billion empire.
He was questioned as his 33-year-old daughter, Tamara, was called to an HMRC base, according to The Sun.
‘Bernie was given a date to be questioned by HMRC officials under caution about tax affairs,’ a source told the paper.
‘This is the first time he has been called in to face taxmen at a police station. It signals a significant move by HMRC in their long-running battle with Bernie.’
There is no suggestion Bernie has broken tax laws but investigators have been looking into his family’s Bambino trust for more than 10 years.
It was set up in 1997 by ex-wife Slavica and is based on Liechtenstein. Bambino trust is thought to have raised £3billion from selling F1 stakes.
Slavica, Tamara and her 28-year-old sister, Petra, are all beneficiaries of the trust.
When Bernie had a triple heart bypass in 1999, all of the share capital of F1’s parent company was transferred to a business called Petara in Jersey.
Slavica transferred the asset – his most valuable – in case he died.
She then moved the shares to the trust. The trust’s offshore location meant no tax was paid on the cash raised from selling the shares.