Swiss whistleblower to handover offshore banking secrets to Wikileaks

January 16th, 2011 - 5:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Tunis, Jan 16 (ANI): Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer is reportedly planning to handover two CDs to WikiLeaks containing data of around 2,000 bank clients who may have been evading taxes.

Elmer is a former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands and employee of the powerful Julius Baer bank, which accuses him of stealing the information.

According to The Guardian, the offshore bank account details of these “high net worth individuals” and corporations, would be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.

The paper quoted Elmer as saying that British and American individuals, including “approximately 40 politicians,” and companies are among the offshore clients whose details would be handed over to the whistleblower website.

Elmer claimed that he is releasing the information “in order to educate society”, because these people, multinational conglomerates and financial institutions allegedly “using secrecy as a screen to hide behind in order to avoid paying tax”. They come from the US, Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia - “from all over”.

“Well-known pillars of society will hold investment portfolios and may include houses, trading companies, artwork, yachts, jewellery, horses, and so on. What I am objecting to is not one particular bank, but a system of structures. I have worked for major banks other than Julius Baer, and the one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes, and other things such as money-laundering - although these cases involve tax evasion,” he added.

Currently Elmer is being tried for violating Swiss banking secrecy law even though the data is from the Cayman Islands. (ANI)

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