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Germans buy CD of tax cheater data

German authorities have indeed purchased a CD containing information on 1,500 German taxpayers using Swiss bank accounts to hide assets.

A spokesman for the finance ministry of North Rhine Westphalia confirmed on Friday that the disc now rests with justice authorities in the western German state. He did not disclose how much officials paid for the information.

Word of the disc’s existence first surfaced in January in German media, which reported that an unknown person had offered to sell the information for €2.5 million (SFr3.66 million).

The disc could contain information worth as much as €100 million in tax revenue. Two weeks after the news broke, some 1,100 German taxpayers had come forward to declare assets stashed in Switzerland to avoid prosecution.

The affair has sparked strong reactions in Switzerland, which sees the issue as a violation of its banking secrecy laws now under fire.

The wealthy western state of Baden-Württemberg, which has recorded the biggest number of people coming clean about their holdings, said on Friday it had decided not to purchase a CD it had been offered with Swiss bank data.

Baden-Württemberg, which borders Switzerland, said on Friday 1,302 people had reported themselves from February 5-25 over Swiss holdings. One week earlier, the number stood at 722.

Two years ago Germany bought information on taxpayers who had money hidden in banks located in Liechtenstein.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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