• Germany's news in English

Taxman recovers €1.6 bln from Alpine accounts

The Local · 20 Dec 2010, 07:00

Published: 20 Dec 2010 07:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

They hope to claw back another €200 million ($260 million) next year thanks to secret banking data from both countries which they had acquired relatively cheaply, according to the latest edition of weekly Der Spiegel.

In 2008 a former employee of Liechtenstein's biggest bank sold data on client accounts in the secretive Alpine banking haven to the German secret service for €5 million.

The affair triggered a high profile crackdown on tax evasion in Germany, prompting investigations into business executives, sports stars and entertainers, and resulting in the conviction of former Deutsche Post head Klaus Zumwinkel.

Early this year officials in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia bought a computer disc for a reported €2.5 million with information on secret Swiss accounts.

In July, German authorities raided branches of Credit Suisse in Germany as part of a tax evasion probe, sparking tension with Switzerland, which said the data was stolen in violation of its sacrosanct banking secrecy law.

Story continues below…

Germany's Constitutional Court has since approved the practice of using stolen data to track down tax fiddlers.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:21 December 20, 2010 by wood artist
It might be fun to know how much of this was collected because people were afraid their little secret accounts were on the disc. I'll be a whole bunch of folks came clean rather than face legal action.

In any case, it sounds like the original investment has paid big dividends.

10:54 December 20, 2010 by mixxim
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The holders should be named and shamed and assets of those banks who encouraged them should be held as accessories. Directors of the banks should be held accountable and liable to imprisonment when they enter Germany.
13:38 December 20, 2010 by SRaab
In 2008 a former employee of Liechtenstein's biggest bank sold data on client accounts in the secretive Alpine banking haven to the German secret service for €5 million.

So in Germany, it´s legal to sell stolen information?
15:30 December 20, 2010 by voidplay
If it not wrong to handle stolen/black money, what is wrong in handling stolen information about illegal money deposits.
15:41 December 20, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Damn it's getting harder and harder to hide the cookie jar... The dudes go and are everywhere. What about a well deserved tax reduction?
02:18 December 21, 2010 by Larry Thrash
It's time we stopped punishing the successful and rewarding losers. Western societies are in deep financial trouble because of this. The greedy are the ones who won't steal from their neighbors but they will elect politicians that will. Class envy will lead to the destruction of society.
Today's headlines
Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd