Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs may be well known in the UK for losing files on every family but it's not above turning corporate data losses to its own advantage. The Revenue is in the market for details of thousands of Swiss bank accounts which have gone missing. HSBC has admitted losing account details for 24,000 accounts …
I'm sure tax dodging isn't the only reason governments should be interested in getting their hands on Swiss bank account details. Let's not forget about the accounts being used for organised crime, arms dealing, drug money, etc. Surely this is as important as taxation, if not more?
Switzerland should be ashamed of its banking secrecy laws - they sat on the fence during both world wars and have, for too long, conveniently acted as a haven for all sorts of illicit gains for a very long time.
It's a bizarre situation which I'd be ashamed of, if I were Swiss.
And it's shameful that they continue to act like they have nothing to be ashamed of.
Did I mention it's shameful?
How does that work then
"Let's not forget about the accounts being used for organised crime, arms dealing, drug money, etc."
So I'm in Britain selling my drugs, then I take the CASH from the sale to Switzerland where I put it into a bank account, so I can take CASH out whenever I need it?
Or I sell my arms from, say Russia, to say, Iran, and the money doesn't go to Russia where I have to pay my suppliers it goes to Switzerland where my suppliers aren't?
Me thinks you are just spouting the usual clap trap.
"Switzerland should be ashamed of its banking secrecy laws"
No it should be proud, just like Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg in fact many places. Just because you'd like to know how much money people have doesn't mean you get to look.
They are entitled to their privacy, just as you are entitled to be Anonymous Coward.
"And it's shameful that they continue to act like they have nothing to be ashamed of."
The USA has the financial privacy right too, and it does not hand data to Switzerland because it's not stupid. There is nothing shameful about enforcing peoples human rights.
Let's not forget about the accounts being used for...
... perfectly legal and legitimate purposes.
Once again we see the classic argument of "let's treat *everyone* as potential criminals in the hope that we'll catch a few wrongdoers in our widely spread net".
Of course all that happens is that the wrongdoers go somewhere else, meanwhile the innocent have their liberties and privacy trampled on (something which people fought a war to prevent!)
Sounds like aiding and abetting
I'm pretty sure that's a crime in this country even if the other party is abroad.
Is it just me
Or are HMRC encouraging criminal activity?
Presumably the "former IT" worker wasn't entitled to the data and therefore it is stolen. If the HMRC were to "receive" it they would be guilty of receiving or handling stolen property and should therefore be prosecuted. Bet it will be a case of one law for them and another for us, as usual.
A crime also in France
You know that to steal a banks data is a crime everywhere in the world, even France. There is no distinction whether it's a phisher or an employee, no distinction whether he pretends to be a goodie or baddie.
And knowingly receiving stolen goods is also a crime, everywhere in the world, even UK, it's no different when a govt receives the data, even when HMRC employees do it.
"That case led to debate about how far authorities should go in pursuit of tax dodgers."
Ahh, they're all tax dodgers....as someone with a Swiss account, thats rubbish. That's the nudge nudge wink wink approach.
A lot of those people will simply be investors in the Swiss markets, or have worked in Switzerland, and they won't appreciate a bunch of thieves and their co-conspirators stealing bank data.
Leaked document embarrasses government == hunted down and jailed.
Leaked document brings in cash for same government == hunted down and paid.
Nice to know that government departments are practicing good double standards....
if HMRC purchases the Data that has been stolen it is committing a criminal offence in ,at the very very least, encouraging such data thefts ?. Im not saying that people who are avoiding tax illegally should be protected but not all of the data will be that.
UK Banking data to HMRC
Interesting, I was searching to see if UK banking data is handed to HMRC automatically (yes it is, the interest paid, tax withheld and average balance are sent automatically to the tax office for every UK bank account). Good to know the government keeps such a close eye on you criminals on prison Island!.
However, when I did the search this came up, remember the man prosecuted for failing to decrypt a flash key? He made some comments on the case:
Do as we say, not as we do, so much for Due Process.
The investigation into any crime doesn't allow them or anyone to break others laws. Therefore the pursuit of tax money doesn't allow them to break others laws.
Its a criminal offense to use stolen bank records, but the two faced arrogant corrupt Narcissists in power otherwise known as the NuLabour government think its ok for them to use stolen bank records.
Its another example of how our corrupt Narcissist elite think they are above the law. I don't care if they think the ends justify the means, the law exists to prevent violations of laws and rights, so its just wonderful how blatantly our government ignores peoples rights and the law.
Have these arrogant corrupt Narcissists in power never heard of "Due process".
i.e. "Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land, protecting individual persons from the state."
Immediate massive scale criminal legal action needs to be taken against HMRC and the government for criminal violations of Due Process.
For such blatantly criminal action, Impeachment against NuLabour should also be immediately initiated and pushed through as fast as possible, for what are blatant criminal violations of Due Process. Then we can finally force NuLabour into an immediate election to throw these power mad crooked tyrants out of power.
They should be proud
They should be proud that they managed to avoid being sucked into two wars that caused untold misery in most of the rest of Europe.
They should be proud that they help subjects of surveillance states, such as the UK, to hold on to their money.
Did I mention that they should be proud?
There are actually TWO problems here
1) the usual fencing argument: if a government starts to act as a fence for an illegal act, where does this stop? What else can they handle? Stolen cars? Jewellery?
2) supporting a criminal act in another country is actually - from a diplomatic point of view - a hostile act, and I'm a little bit surprised Switzerland hasn't seen to cite the relevant ambassadors.
As for those who think everything goes, Switzerland is actually a true, direct democracy. Privacy happens to be a Human Right (the 12th, I think), but you've been brainwashed into accepting any intrusion into your private sphere without functional controls for as long as New Labour has been in power. You might want to wake up, because it's already hard to turn back the clock on that unprecedented CCTV coverage.
Let me heap all the scare stories into one question: what if a paedophile terrorist managed to get a job with the police? Thank you, and good night..
Anon because El Reg knows who I am anyway..