Liechtenstein has launched a preliminary investigation against a man at the center of an international tax evasion scandal, prosecutors said Monday.
Heinrich Kieber is suspected of stealing sensitive customer data from his former employer, the Liechtenstein bank LGT Treuhand, and selling it to German investigators.
Prosecutors said Kieber and other unidentified suspects were being investigated for allegedly leaking company secrets to a foreign entity and requests for legal assistance had been sent to authorities in the German cities of Bochum and Munich.
The German government said last week that its intelligence service paid an informant as much as euro5 million (US$7.3 million) for a list of account holders. Authorities in Liechtenstein have condemned the purchase of confidential data.
The list of 1,400 customer names, contained on DVDs that LGT Treuhand says were copied by Kieber in 2002, have sparked a wide-ranging tax evasion probe across Europe, the United States and elsewhere.
German prosecutors say their investigation has so far netted 163 people and led to the recovery of more than euro27 million (US$40 million) in tax revenue.