As reported by the Financial Times, the four men were detained after officers from HM Revenue and Customs visited the KPMG Belfast office in relation to “suspected tax evasion”.
The men have been identified as Jon D’Arcy, KPMG’s chairman in Northern Ireland; Eamonn Donaghy, senior tax partner in Belfast; Paul Hollway, head of Irish corporate finance business; and Arthur O’Brien, a senior partner with the firm.
In a statement, reported in the Financial Times, KPMG spoke of their co-operation with the ongoing investigation.
“It is important to emphasise that we do not have any indication that this investigation relates to the business of KPMG or the business of our clients,” the firm said.
“Pending further information and enquiry, we can confirm that four partners in our Belfast office are on administrative leave.”
Mr Donaghy in particular is a leading figure in economic and political circles in Northern Ireland, leading the campaign for Northern Ireland to have the devolved power to set its own corporation tax.
In addition to their respective roles at KPMG, the four men are investors in a property company known as JEAP Ltd, which reportedly operates under the same trading address in Belfast as the KPMG office. It is unknown at this stage whether involvement with this company forms part of the ongoing investigation.
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