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Naming & shaming

The next few days will likely see some embarrassing revelations about the shady financial manoeuvres of the world's powerful and wealthy.

The media were treated this week to the appetizer of former French budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac finally admitting to his secret Swiss bank account stash.

But an outpouring of names from a new source is putting the spotlight on many more prominent personalities.

As far as Switzerland is concerned, the name of German photographer, playboy and heir to the Opel motoring fortune, Gunther Sachs, a long-term Swiss resident, has appeared on the list of suspected tax dodgers – although the lawyers of the deceased Sachs deny the allegations. 

Sachs spent the last few years of his life in Gstaad, canton Bern, and the cantonal tax authorities reportedly now want to take another look at his tax affairs, following allegations of secret offshore accounts.

A multitude of names, from Mongolia to Canada, have been pouring out of the world’s media outlets – although many allegations have yet to be verified by sources other than the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

One name will have more column inches than most: Portcullis Trustnet – the Singaporean company that managed the assets of the wealthy and whose secrets were taken and handed over to journalists.

Matthew Allen,

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR