Switzerland and UBS – new tax evader lists?

October 6th, 2009

From Switzerland’s Le Temps newspaper this morning (translated from the French)

“The Ticino lawyer Fabrizio Pessina, from Chiasso, was arrested at Malpensa airport (Milan) on March 2 on his return from Spain where he had been playing golf. The financial brigade was interested in him, in the context of an investigation into two Italian businessmen suspected of diverting funds from a real estate project in Milan. On Fabrizio Pessina’s personal computers the investigators found, it seems by chance, a list of 552 Italian taxpayers with the details of their bank accounts, including the names of their offshore companies registered in Switzerland, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and in the British Virgin Islands. The 552 accounts involve 1.2 billion Euros under management.”

Le Temps adds that:

“A second list, whose origin hasn’t been clearly established but whose details have appeared in the press, involves 200 clients of the Italian subsidiary of UBS. . . involving around one billion Euros”

According to the Italian press, which has been largely ignored in publicising this, Le Temps adds, these lists involve “top-rank” officials. Italy has just passed a controversial tax amnesty, a kind of get out of jail free card for criminal tax evaders, which the Italian opposition rightly notes will benefit organised crime and will make tax evasion worse in future.

Written by Tax Justice Network

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