Sunday 23rd of January 2022

the usual suspects .....

the usual suspects .....

The offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations - detailing massive potential tax evasion - will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.

British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, "approximately 40 politicians".

Elmer, who after his press conference will return to Switzerland from exile in Mauritius to face trial, 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.

He is also - at a time when the activities of banks are a matter of public concern - one of a small band of employees and executives seeking to blow the whistle on what they see as unprofessional, immoral and even potentially criminal activity by powerful international financial institutions.

Along with the City of London and Wall Street, Switzerland is a fortress of banking and financial services, but famously secretive and expert in the concealment of wealth from all over the world for tax evasion and other extra-legal purposes.

Elmer says he is releasing the information "in order to educate society". The list includes "high net worth individuals", multinational conglomerates and financial institutions - hedge funds". They are said to be "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".

Clients include "business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates - from both sides of the Atlantic". Elmer says: "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," he told the Observer. "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."

Swiss Whistleblower Rudolf Elmer plans to hand over offshore banking secrets of the rich & famous to Wikileaks

 

money, money, money...

India's Supreme Court has said that the practice of illegal funnelling of wealth overseas by Indians is a "pure and simple theft of national money".

The court also wondered what the government was doing to retrieve the illegal money in foreign banks.

US-based group Global Financial Integrity has said that India has lost more than $460bn in such illegal flight of capital since Independence.

It said the illicit outflows increased after economic reforms began in 1991.

The report also said that almost three-quarters of the illegal money that comprises India's underground economy ends up outside the country.

India's underground economy has been estimated to account for 50% of the country's GDP - $640bn at the end of 2008.

Wednesday's remarks by the Supreme Court came when it was hearing a petition filed by a former federal Law Minister Ram Jethmalani and others on the alleged inaction of the government in bringing back illegal money parked overseas by rich Indians and companies.

In response, India's Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam submitted a sealed cover containing 16 names of individuals and companies who had accounts with a Liechtenstein-based bank.

"This is all the information you have or you have something more! We are talking about the huge money. It is a plunder of the nation," remarked Justice B Sudershan Reddy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12235993

---------------------------

Meanwhile in the country of secret banking..:

Swiss police have re-arrested a former banker on fresh charges of breaching bank secrecy laws by passing data to whistleblowers' website WikiLeaks.

Only hours earlier Rudolf Elmer was found guilty by a Zurich court of breaching another bank secrecy law.

Elmer, 55, was fined more than 6,000 Swiss francs ($6,250; £4,000) but escaped prosecution demands for a prison sentence.

He had said the leaks were to expose tax evasion by the rich.

"The state prosecutor's office is checking to see whether Rudolf Elmer has violated Swiss banking law by handing the CD over to WikiLeaks," the Zurich cantonal (state) police and prosecutor said in a joint statement on the latest arrest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12234139