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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 15:04 GMT
Deutsche Post boss in tax probe
Klaus Zumwinkel (left) leaves home with his lawyer
Mr Zumwinkel (left) has had his home searched
The chief executive of Deutsche Post, the firm that owns global delivery firm DHL, has been quizzed by police over suspected tax evasion.

Klaus Zumwinkel had his home and office raided by investigators and was questioned before being bailed.

Prosecutors said he was suspected of not paying 1m euros (750,000; $1.4m) in taxes using banks in Lichtenstein.

Mr Zumwinkel is one of Germany's most influential business figures, having headed Deutsche Post for 18 years.

A company spokeswoman confirmed that an investigation into its chief executive had been launched but did not specify what it was about.

Criticism

Mr Zumwinkel has led Deutsche Post since 1990 and oversaw its flotation in 2000.

As Mr Zumwinkel is approaching retirement age, many analysts do not expect him to have his contract renewed when it expires later this year.

And a spokesman for the Social Democrats, who form part of Germany's governing coalition, said that if Mr Zumwinkel was found to guilty, he should "not hold his job for one minute longer".

"It is beyond comprehension that a multimillionaire like Zumwinkel found it necessary to save a couple of million euros in this way," Rainer Wend told Der Spiegel magazine.

The Deutsche Post boss has been praised for helping transform the firm into a logistics giant, as well as developing its retail banking arm, Postbank.

However, he has been criticised for selling about 5m euros worth of shares after having forced through the minimum wage for postal workers - something which bolstered the company's share price.

He has other business roles, including leading Deutsche Telekom's supervisory board.

SEE ALSO
EU launches German postal probe
12 Sep 07 |  Business
Warning hits Deutsche Post shares
14 Mar 06 |  Business
Deutsche Post buys Williams Lea
13 Feb 06 |  Business
Post service opens to competition
01 Jan 06 |  Business

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