Berne against using stolen bank data

GENEVA: Switzerland’s president today warned foreign governments against using illegally acquired bank data to nab tax evaders, as no deals with criminals should be made under the rule of law.

“Generally speaking we believe that it is difficult for states to use illegal data,” said Doris Leuthard after German press reports that a secret informant had offered to sell the German taxman the names of 1,500 Germans who have funds hidden in Switzerland. “This would mean doing business with criminals, which is against the law,” she added.

Leuthard, who spoke to SDA news agency on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, said Switzerland could not endorse such developments. She would not confirm the reports from Germany, saying they were speculation and not official. “In this particular case we have to analyse things, get official confirmation and abstain from speculation,” said Leuthard who is also economy minister.

The disc is said to contain the names of 1,500 Germans with funds in Switzerland.