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Britain joins Germany in buying leaked customer information from Liechtenstein bank

Britain joins Germany in buying leaked customer information from Liechtenstein bank

Britain's government has joined Germany's in paying a whistleblower for information about bank accounts that its citizens kept in Liechtenstein to avoid paying taxes, an official said Monday.
The bank, LGT Group, is wholly owned by the Alpine principality's ruling family. It has said it will file charges against a former employee previously convicted of stealing DVDs containing the names of 1,400 customers of its subsidiary LGT Treuhand.
Germany's government has said its Federal Intelligence Service paid an informant as much as euro5 million (US$7.3 million) for a list with the names of account holders of a Liechtenstein bank. The information led to a series of high-profile raids against individuals and businesses there.
The Financial Times reported Monday that the British government recently paid 100,000 pounds (US$196,000, euro75,000) to the whistleblower for information about 100 wealthy Britons with accounts at LGT Treuhand, and that Britain expects to reap at least 100 million pounds (US$196 million, euro75 million) in unpaid taxes as a result.
On Monday, Britain's Revenue & Customs department, or HMRC, confirmed the payment to The Associated Press, without providing many details.
Revenue & Customs "is authorized to make such payments and would ensure that the information was well based before making any payment," the department said in a statement.
"Most people under investigation have substantial amounts to pay, with at least 100 million pounds tax at risk in the U.K.," said David Hartnett, the acting chairman of the Revenue & Customs department.
"Those who have hidden income and gains should make a prompt and complete disclosure to HMRC. And in the light of recent developments involving Liechtenstein bank accounts, there needs to be a significant move towards full implementation of OECD standards on transparency and effective exchange of information in tax matters," he said.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a 30-member watchdog body based in Paris.


Updated : 2021-02-28 03:21 GMT+08:00