• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Swiss banker arrested over sale of German data

The Local · 27 Aug 2012, 14:53

Published: 27 Aug 2012 14:53 GMT+02:00

The bank in question, Julius Bär, is said to have warned German clients who could be affected.

German state authorities have sparked controversy in the past for paying for stolen data on tax dodgers hiding money in Swiss banks.

Monday’s Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that four public prosecutors in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) were planning a new wave of investigations into alleged tax evaders later this year.

These will be based on three CDs of stolen data and a comprehensive list of German customers who have invested their money in four financial institutions in Switzerland.

NRW State Premier Hannelore Kraft said earlier this month the state would continue to buy such data as and when possible, as she was convinced it was legal.

In October 2010, the NRW paid €1.4 million for a CD with data from Julius Bär on Germans who were allegedly hiding untaxed assets. The data sparked numerous investigations and voluntary disclosures.

Zurich banking insiders say Swiss banks have tightened their controls lately because of the repeated purchase of stolen data. The new measures are designed to expose data thieves and discourage further theft of customer information.

The bank did not comment on the nature and extent of customer data sold to German buyers. The thief was discovered "in the context of tighter controls and a comprehensive internal investigation," Julius Bär chief Boris Collardi told the Swiss Sonntags-Zeitung newspaper.

The suspect was arrested at his office in Zurich and has since been fired, bank spokesman Jan Vonder Mühll confirmed.

The row between Germany and Switzerland escalated earlier this month when German papers reported that tax authorities were investigating Julius Bär as well as the Swiss banking giant UBS, on suspicion of transferring German clients' assets to Asia.

The report prompted German Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel to equate Swiss banks with organized crime syndicates for evading taxes

Switzerland's President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf dismissed the charges, saying there was no evidence of banks engaging in the practice.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe
The works were seized following a request from the United States, one of several countries probing alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Photo: AFP

Switzerland has seized a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and two others by Claude Monet as part of the global investigation into Malaysia's scandal-tainted sovereign wealth fund, an official said on Friday.

IOC reports more doping failures pre-Rio
President Thomas Bach said the retesting showed the IOC's commitment to fight doping. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee reports 45 new doping failures from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Swiss pilots: don’t hunt Pokémon from the air
Pokemon hunting has become a world-wide craze. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The Swiss civil aviation office hears reports of people playing the popular new game from helicopters.

‘Nelson’ the black swan found dead in Montreux
File photo: Noel Reynolds

The non-native swan caused a media storm earlier this month.

Zurich school threatened over links to Erdogan opponent
File photo: Aris Messini/AFP

School targeted over claims it is associated with Fethullah Gulen.

Violent storms hit Switzerland as planet heats up (again)
File photo: Benjamin Benson

Globally, June 2016 was the hottest month on record.

Swiss sports court upholds ban on Russian athletes
Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva (centre) is among the athletes affected. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Wang Zhao/Greg Baker/AFP

The decision by Lausanne's Court of Arbitration for Sport is a "funeral for athletics" said one Russian athlete.

Swiss Post moves to accept debit cards – sometimes
Photo: Swiss Post

By December customers will be able to pay for products (but not their bills) by debit card.

Study: a fifth of Swiss spy on neighbours
22 percent admit to watching their neighbours. File photo: Chase Elliott Clark

And 40 percent of Swiss feel watched in their homes.

Spectacular Valais ‘bisse’ to feature on new banknote
The bisse d'Ayent. Photo: Commune of Ayent/ayent.ch

The canton's historic irrigation channels will take pride of place on the new 100 franc note.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Features
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Photo: The Local
Society
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
International
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: The Local
International
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP/The Local
Lifestyle
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
National
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Society
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Whitepod
Features
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
International
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
National
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Technology
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Robert Valencia
International
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
National
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Politics
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Bernacqua
Lifestyle
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
Lifestyle
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Daniel Orth
Education
Muslim school kids denied passport for refusing swimming lessons
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Politics
Swiss-EU talks ‘must’ resume this summer, says President
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
File photo: Kochtopf
National
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Society
Geneva could get 'café fellatio' by end of year
Features
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
4,633
jobs available