The legality of a French crackdown on suspected tax evaders earlier this year has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that stolen data was among the mix of information used by financial investigators. A list of 3,000 French nationals suspected of using Swiss banking secrecy to evade paying taxes included data handed over by …
"... list of French tax evaders dodgers"
So... they had a list of people who were dodging the prospect of avoiding paying French taxes? Should those people not perhaps be commended rather than condemned?
eh ? sounds familiar....
wasn't this the plot of Spooks the other day?
Wasn't this the plot of Spooks this week... do they just watch the series and turn it into real life!
Swiss banks warned their customers that SWIFT transfers are not private and to use internal Swiss transfers to protect their privacy.
So I bet the US had a look at that SWIFT data, and handed data to the French to earn a bit of kudos and justify their own warrantless surveillance. A sort of, 'turn a blind eye to what we're doing and we'll take a look for you too'...
Can't prove it, but I suspect it.
That would also explain why I have a demand to provide details of my BCV account and 4 others for long closed accounts in countries I haven't worked for for years . They seem to know accounts I've had as I worked across Europe, but not that those accounts are long closed before I moved here.
I wish that European banks would warn their customers that SWIFT transfers are not private, since what the EU Commission seems to have completely taken leave of their senses. They clearly are relying on a gentlemens agreement, which, suggest THEY'RE FOOKING IDIOTS.
It's a tricky one this, do you use evidence that has been obtained by a whistle blower when that evidence is stolen? I wonder if it would stand up in a court of law (I doubt it) but it could well be used to spark an investigation into people who are tax dodging.
Maybe it's a bit like the wiretap debate in the UK at the moment, wiretap evidence can't be used in court, but it can be used to steer an investigation.
It's a tough feelings kidney whichever way you slice it.
Could be worse
At least they're only being accused of tax evasion, not kiddie porn.
See Also: Operation Ore
The VERY fat elephant everyone is dodging..
It's very interesting that all those governments (Germany, Netherlands, France and others) appear to be able to handle stolen goods with impunity. This leads to a couple of very important questions:
1) how can any government do this legally in defiance of what appears to be an EU wide stance against it? We're not talking civil law here, this is CRIMINAL law. Germany appears to be the worst offender here as it not only rewarded the criminal (like France now has) but then proceeded to resell that information.
2) if it can, where does this ability stop? What other stolen goods can these states handle that citizens can't? Cars? Jewelry? Household appliances?
3) by what democratic means was this made acceptable for the state but not for its citizens?
Now, we all know that all the answers we'll get back are BS, because no laws were passed that enabled this to take place, so expect the kind of wriggling you had in the UK after questions arose regarding the legality of the war with the US, sorry, the war on Iraq. I find it amazing that every newspaper has been hammering the tax evaders who probably deserved the hammering, but none stopped to asked that question. Nobody, absolutely did. There are nasty consequences hiding underneath the carpet as a consequence - here's a question to ask by anyone who decides to take their tax dodging fight all the way to court (which probably takes more balls than anyone has):
4) given that evidence was obtained by illegal means, doesn't that make any conviction unsafe?
If you want to nail people there are plenty of legal ways to do it. There is no excuse for *any* government to elevate itself above its electorate, engage in crime itself and so STIMULATE crime. Jobs which depend on confidentiality (lawyers, doctors, and your own bank and insurance affairs) are now put at risk by frankly questionable laws (don't tell me that RIPA is in any way sensible without controls and penalties that are actually enforced on the police and government side) and where simple mistakes can put innocent people on the wrong side of the law too.
But hey, it serves at least one, already known purpose.
It keeps you afraid.
> The data involved less than 10 accounts
And with "up to 4,000 French clients.......named on the stolen list" too.
That's a hell of a lot of signatories on each account they have there.
I thought it said French todgers...
... and was expecting a Playmobil scene.
You British have corrupted me ;)