Liechtenstein-Germany tax scandal is spreading across Europe

The essence of the scandal was the following – Liechtenstein’s LGT Group acknowledged that the German secret services obtained LGT Group’s client information. The secret data was revealed by a former employee of the bank, who had stolen it. According to Liechtenstein’s LGT Group, the client information that was illegally disclosed to the German authorities is limited to the client data stolen from LGT Treuhand in 2002.

LGT alleged that a former employee who was the informant was Liechtenstein citizen Heinrich Kieber. He worked for the bank since 1999. Kieber was the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Spanish authorities over a real estate fraud case in 1997. The bank alleged that Kieber, who was sentenced in Liechtenstein to a fine of CHF 600 000 in October 2001 and left Liechtenstein in November 2002, prior leaving the country stole client data from LGT Group and copied it onto 4 DVDs.

According to Germany, to get the data on holders of accounts with LGT in Liechtenstein, the investigators had paid an informant up to EUR 5 million.

However, a recent tax scandal involving Liechtenstein and Germany has been important across Europe as investigators from the United Kingdom to Scandinavia reportedly tried to get to know the details pointing to widespread tax evasion.

According to Financial Times, the UK authorities have now paid GBP 100 000 pounds for a list of about 100 wealthy Britons who allegedly evaded tax through Liechtenstein. The obtained information could help the Authorities recover GBP 100 million.

Accordin go Germany’s Handelsblatt daily, Finland, Sweden and Norway also got interested in the list of clients of LGT Bank.

The bank said in a statement that apparently, the stolen information has been illegally disclosed, directly or indirectly, to other authorities, and considered such methods to be extremely offensive. According to the bank,
the data regards approximately 1 400 client relationships, and the largest number is resident in Germany –  approximately 600.

As to the informant, he is considered to have been given a new identity to protect him from from those whom he had exposed as hiding money in Liechtenstein’s tax haven. Some claim he has left Europe to start his life anew in Australia.

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