The Belgian authorities say that four Irish insurance companies have been implicated in a month-long investigation into an alleged multi-million euro tax evasion scheme.
According to the Belgian Department for Fraud Investigation, around €100m was paid by the Irish companies into bank accounts in Luxembourg held by some 200 Belgian brokers who were selling the Irish products.
The money represented commission fees paid to the brokers for selling the Irish products.
A spokesman for the State Secretary for the Coo-ordination of Fraud Investigation said it was not yet clear if the Irish companies, which have not been named, were complicit in the scheme.
They had been selling life insurance products to the Belgian market for several years, said spokesman Stefaan Huysentruyt.
He said the scale of the alleged tax evasion by the Belgian brokers was 'extremely high'. Of the €100m paid into the Luxembourg bank accounts, the tax liability amounted to €38m.
Mr Huysentruyt said the Irish companies were selling a variety of insurance products to the Belgian market, 'mostly life insurance'.
He said the Belgian brokers involved in the scheme will have to pay back the taxes, with added penalties.
It is not yet clear if the Belgian authorities have questioned the Irish companies involved, of if they were aware that the bank accounts in Luxembourg were used for the purposes of evading tax.