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Banking secrecy Germany drops spy case against Swiss secret serviceman

man at lectern

Paul Zinniker is second-in-command within the Federal Intelligence Service.


The German authorities have closed the case against the deputy head of Switzerland’s secret service. Paul Zinniker had been accused of commissioning a spy to gather intelligence on Germany’s tax collectors. 

Germany dropped the case in June because it was not possible to prove that Zinniker was guilty, a spokeswoman for the German federal prosecutor told the Swiss News Agency on Monday – following a report in Swiss Sunday newspaper NZZ am Sonntagexternal link

+ The Swiss have also accused Germans of tax-related spying 

Zinniker had been accused of commissioning private agent Daniel M. for espionage activities against German tax investigators and authorities in 2011. On behalf of contacts within the Federal Intelligence Serviceexternal link, Daniel M. was found guilty of hiring a German security company to place a mole in the financial administration of North Rhine-Westphalia. 

The espionage activity was related to so-called tax CDs with data on suspected tax dodgers keeping money in Swiss banks. In November 2017, the Swiss man was sentenced in Germany to a probationary sentence of 22 months and a fine of €40,000 (CHF45,047).


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