Source: Tax Justice Network, “The Offshore Wrapper” 28 August 2017
“A man suspected of being a Swiss spy has been indicted in Germany. He is suspected of having been employed by the Swiss intelligence services to spy on German tax officials in an attempt to discover who was involved in a 2010 leak of information from a Swiss Bank. German officials bought CDs containing the data in 2012, and shared it with officials across the European Union. In total the data helped recover €7bn in tax revenue.
The case is one of the stranger cases of state capture by the banking industry we have seen in recent years, and shows that despite claims that it is embracing transparency, the Swiss Government are still willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their banks being used as hubs for dirty money.
However, spies working for the Swiss government may think twice in the future about undertaking such missions, if stories circulating about the arrest of this suspect are to be believed. According to some reports Swiss prosecutors may have blown the cover of their spy by failing to redact passages of documents related to the prosecution of a Swiss banker for leaking the information.”
Source: Reuters 4th May 2017
Spain’s High Court is to question seven former executives from HSBC’s Swiss private bank as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering and tax fraud triggered by tax information leaks from former employee Herve Falciani.
The court said in a ruling, published on Thursday, it had decided to widen the investigation to study the flow of funds from HSBC’s Swiss private bank to Spain’s Banco Santander and France’s BNP Paribas.
“These entities have collaborated to repatriate funds deposited in HSBC’s Swiss private bank with the aim of concealing them from Spanish tax authorities,” the court said in a separate statement also published on Thursday.
HSBC, which reported first-quarter results on Thursday, declined to comment.
Source: Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 26 April 2017
“Ireland’s Central Bank announced Wednesday it had fined Allied Irish Banks Plc (AIB) – one of the country’s “big four” commercial lenders – €2.27 million (US$ 2.47 million) for “significant failures” in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.”
“The Central Bank found that, between 2010 and 2014, AIB persistently failed to immediately report 211 suspicious transactions to police and tax authorities.
AIB also failed to ensure that approximately 573,000 customers who had held accounts since before 1995 had provided a proof of address and identification.”
Source: bbc.co.uk 11 April 2017
“Shell has admitted for the first time it dealt with a convicted money-launderer when negotiating access to a vast oil field in Nigeria.
It comes after emails were published showing Shell negotiated with Dan Etete, who was later convicted of money laundering in a separate case.
Shell and the Italian firm ENI agreed a deal with the Nigerian government for the rights to exploit OPL 245, a prime oil block off the coast of the Niger Delta. Read the rest of this entry »
Source: The Tax Justice Network, 31 March 2017
“News is breaking today of a co-ordinated raid by several governments on hidden assets in Swiss bank accounts. According to news reports authorities from the Netherlands, the UK, France and Germany have today taken part in a co-ordinated action against Credit Suisse.
A statement from the UK’s HMRC says that they have opened a criminal investigation into money laundering.
So far the inspectors have uncovered stashes of gold bars and works of art. Small fry perhaps but given the large scale nature of the operation there must be more to come.
All of this is surprising of course because for some time we have been told by the Swiss that the era of banking secrecy is over.
It is currently unknown what the source of the information the authorities are acting on. However, if it is another leak from a whistle-blower, it would be a great time for it to happen, almost one year since the release of the Panama Papers. What we do know though is that the information is unlikely to have come from the Swiss authorities who are apparently not too pleased about what is happening.
Perhaps now it is time for tax dodgers to understand that their secrets are not safe, no matter which firm of bankers they hire, and it will be easier and probably cheaper for them to simply comply with their obligations.”
Source: Heraldscotland.com 15.11.2016
Unregulated internet money transfer systems are using Edinburgh shell companies as fronts amid growing concern over money-laundering in the industry.
At least three websites offering no-questions-asked online payments are using a controversial kind of Scottish firm whose ultimate owners can be secret, file no accounts and pay no taxes.
The businesses, called epay, wpay and payeer, all give their corporate face as a Scottish limited partnership or SLP registered at a maildrop in the capital’s prestigious west end.
However, none of the three firms have any physical presence in Scotland beyond their virtual “brass plate” in Edinburgh and none are subject to UK regulation.