Ex-UBS banker sought in tax probe being extradited to US

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A Swiss national flag (top) and a flag of the city of Basel fly over the entrance of a branch office of Swiss bank UBS in Basel October 22, 2013. Photo: Reuters

Raoul Weil, a former top UBS banker charged by U.S. authorities for allegedly helping Americans dodge taxes via secret Swiss bank accounts, was being extradited to the United States on Friday after spending nearly two months in an Italian jail, one of his lawyers and a judicial official said.

Weil, a 54-year-old Swiss citizen who used to be the third-highest ranked executive at Zurich-based wealth management giant UBS (UBSN.VX), was arrested mid-October while holidaying with his wife at an upscale hotel in Bologna.

One of his lawyers and a judicial official said Weil had left the Dozza prison in Bologna and was being extradited to the United States.

The judicial source said Weil was already on a flight en route to America.

Weil's lawyer in the United States, Aaron Marcu of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, declined to comment.

U.S. authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Weil in early 2009, just months after he was charged for allegedly conspiring to help 17,000 American clients of UBS avoid taxes. Weil denies any wrongdoing.

Last month, the banker agreed to go to the United States to face trial.

Weil's indictment in November 2008 was a landmark in efforts by U.S. authorities to clamp down on the alleged use of offshore Swiss bank accounts by tax dodgers.

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