WikiLeaks gets 2000 Swiss bank A/C details
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 11:18
  
London: Names of 2,000 secret Swiss account holders, including individuals and corporates from Asia, US and Britain, were on Monday handed over by a former Swiss banker to WikiLeaks for being made public.

There was no indication whether any Indian account holder figure in the list since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who received the two discs containing the documents said that he would make it public in the future.

Rudolf Elmer, a former employee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, said the account holders include celebrities, business leaders and lawmakers.

Assange, fighting cases to extradite him to Sweden to face sex charges, appeared alongside Elmer said he will expose attempts by these business leaders, corporations and lawmakers to evade tax payments.

"We will treat this information like all other information we get," Assange said. "There will be a full revelation."

According to a report in Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag, the data covers multinationals, financial firms and wealthy individuals from many countries, including the UK, US and Germany, and covers the period 1990-2009.

"The one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax evasion purposes," Elmer told Observer newspaper.

He said the files being handed over to whistle-blower site WikiLeaks exposed activities in offshore financial centres.

At the press briefing, Assange said that, with his organisation focussed on the publication of its cache of about 250,000 diplomatic cables, it could be several weeks before Elmer's files are reviewed and posted in the WikiLeaks website.

The Swiss banker has previously leaked banking documents to the secret-spilling site and told journalists that he wanted to expose the offshore banking system.

"I want to let society know how this system works," he said. "It's damaging society."

The banker released the files two days before he is due to appear before a Zurich regional court to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws.

Elmer said he would not reveal what specifically was in the documents, and would not disclose "individual companies or individual names" of the account holders.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 11:18


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