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  #41  
Old 08.04.2012, 02:44
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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So why is Switzerland is a signatory of the Council of Europe Convention on Extradition? Usually they do not sign protocols that they will not allow to be implemented?
Whatever, I can guarantee that Switzerland, due to its constitution, will NEVER extradite a Swiss national to any other country. However, Switzerland rather will request the extradition of a Swiss national who after having fled from Switzerland after a crime found refuge somewhere else. And also extradite citizens of other countries who fled to Switzerland.
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Old 08.04.2012, 06:10
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

I am all for a tight legal system and find the breaches of the Swiss bank secrecy of the last years a shame.

However: People who live in a glass house should not throw stones. The German civil servants did basically their job, so catching the small fish is frankly not really solving any problem. If you want to stop those data CD sales, you will need some diplomacy, not some arrest warrants for low level tax authority employees. (I have never met a single civil servant anywhere in the world who would act on their own, they all follow orders which go up the chain to some minister...)

Within Switzerland on the other side were some big fish who did even worse: Publishing a certain SNB heads private bank data in a newspaper for everyone to read is a far further reaching breach of secrecy than a tax authority trying to catch criminals and trial them in non-public proceedings. So before the guys in Bern try to catch some foreign "spy" should they in my eyes tidy up the local cases first. But I have the feeling that this is not going to happen...
The case Hildebrandt will show much clearer how independant and free the Swiss justice system can work. (http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...ossier_id=1217)
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  #43  
Old 08.04.2012, 11:24
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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I am all for a tight legal system and find the breaches of the Swiss bank secrecy of the last years a shame.

However: People who live in a glass house should not throw stones. The German civil servants did basically their job, so catching the small fish is frankly not really solving any problem. If you want to stop those data CD sales, you will need some diplomacy, not some arrest warrants for low level tax authority employees. (I have never met a single civil servant anywhere in the world who would act on their own, they all follow orders which go up the chain to some minister...)

Within Switzerland on the other side were some big fish who did even worse: Publishing a certain SNB heads private bank data in a newspaper for everyone to read is a far further reaching breach of secrecy than a tax authority trying to catch criminals and trial them in non-public proceedings. So before the guys in Bern try to catch some foreign "spy" should they in my eyes tidy up the local cases first. But I have the feeling that this is not going to happen...
The case Hildebrandt will show much clearer how independant and free the Swiss justice system can work. (http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...ossier_id=1217)
A) Everybody of course realises that it is "man schlägt den Sack und meint den Esel"
B) The man who stole the bank-data and his lawyer are under criminal accusations. In regard to Mr Blocher, I am sure that his lawyers will succeed in shifting all the blame to the thief and his lawyer
C) Whether the three other culprits did "their job" is irrelevant, as they simply committed a crime. No "authority" is under accusation, but three individuals who are accused
D) the guys in Bern ? The guys in charge with the SNB case, whose operational HQ btw. is in Zürich are the Staatsanwaltschaft of the State and Canton of Zürich. And THIS is serious
E) While this article
http://www.aargauerzeitung.ch/schwei...iger-124031370
reveals that the arrest-order of the Bundesanwaltschaft indeed is a "paper-tiger" and nothing more. Strangely enough, would one of them get arrested, the Bundesanwaltschaft had to hand over the matter to the Staatsanwaltschaft of an affected Canton. The final thing for the man would be a financial fine for having BOUGHT the stuff, but the Cantonal Staatsanwaltschaft then had to proceed against the person here who sold it. All this means that the arrest orders are a political demonstration and not really serious
F) The Blocher-Hildebrand case is interesting, but has already shown that the Zürich judiciary acts independently of politics. Sure, Mr Blocher can, after the final verdict in the Canton of Zürich, take up the matter to the Federal Court in Lausanne, but they there most likely would/will support the judicial top brass in Zürich
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  #44  
Old 08.04.2012, 12:33
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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C) Whether the three other culprits did "their job" is irrelevant, as they simply committed a crime. No "authority" is under accusation, but three individuals who are accused
No, the case is not that simple and the fact that the three are not some average industrial spies but civil servants working for the tax authority is of course more than relevant:
1. Stretching the crime of economic espionage to the tax authority is in itself a rather bizarre move. I'd say that the Swiss state attorneys would have a hard time at court explaining it in the very unlikely case that this will ever get to court... economic espionage describes how one company uses illegal means to get secret info from other companies. The authorities, no matter which country, are not some economical entity: They have the power monopoly in a country and use this power to catch criminals, not gaining some competitive advantage.

Simply put: Secret services of all countries buy information all the time... that's their job. This time it was the tax authority who paid the bill and one could argue that they are stretching their mandate... but if the newspapers are right, did the NRW tax authority not act on their own, but in coordination with the federal police and secret services of Germany. The whole story was in many details legally questionable according to German law, but in essence basic police work. Unlike in Switzerland, where it is just some administrative offence, is tax dodging is in Germany a crime. Paying informants to catch criminals is completely normal practice, only the amounts are extreme - both for the information and the possibly recovered tax.

What really annoys me is the Swiss attitude between the lines: It is still basically accepted to support tax dodgers. That is the real problem, not that they sometimes get caught... (so I have absolutely zero empathy for the guy who "really really was just about to declare" his taxes when he got caught... don't dodge them in the first place, end of.)

2. Key is the jurisdiction. If the three accused did not travel to Switzerland and did their work here are they of course under German jurisdiction. What is a crime in Germany is defined in Berlin, not Berne (and vice versa...).

All in all does the whole story look very politically motivated actionism. What always makes me sad is to see that those cheap PR tricks seem to work. The Swiss media hoorays and everyone is happy that the government is doing it's job to protect Helvetia from the evil Germans... while the Bundesrat at the same time step by step abandons the bank secrecy, gives the same type of info for free to the US authorities... let alone Blocher who gets rid of his political enemies by discussing their personal banking business in public.
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  #45  
Old 08.04.2012, 13:15
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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No, the case is not that simple and the fact that the three are not some average industrial spies but civil servants working for the tax authority is of course more than relevant:
1. Stretching the crime of economic espionage to the tax authority is in itself a rather bizarre move. I'd say that the Swiss state attorneys would have a hard time at court explaining it in the very unlikely case that this will ever get to court... economic espionage describes how one company uses illegal means to get secret info from other companies. The authorities, no matter which country, are not some economical entity: They have the power monopoly in a country and use this power to catch criminals, not gaining some competitive advantage.

Simply put: Secret services of all countries buy information all the time... that's their job. This time it was the tax authority who paid the bill and one could argue that they are stretching their mandate... but if the newspapers are right, did the NRW tax authority not act on their own, but in coordination with the federal police and secret services of Germany. The whole story was in many details legally questionable according to German law, but in essence basic police work. Unlike in Switzerland, where it is just some administrative offence, is tax dodging is in Germany a crime. Paying informants to catch criminals is completely normal practice, only the amounts are extreme - both for the information and the possibly recovered tax.

What really annoys me is the Swiss attitude between the lines: It is still basically accepted to support tax dodgers. That is the real problem, not that they sometimes get caught... (so I have absolutely zero empathy for the guy who "really really was just about to declare" his taxes when he got caught... don't dodge them in the first place, end of.)

2. Key is the jurisdiction. If the three accused did not travel to Switzerland and did their work here are they of course under German jurisdiction. What is a crime in Germany is defined in Berlin, not Berne (and vice versa...).

All in all does the whole story look very politically motivated actionism. What always makes me sad is to see that those cheap PR tricks seem to work. The Swiss media hoorays and everyone is happy that the government is doing it's job to protect Helvetia from the evil Germans... while the Bundesrat at the same time step by step abandons the bank secrecy, gives the same type of info for free to the US authorities... let alone Blocher who gets rid of his political enemies by discussing their personal banking business in public.
About "Secret services of all countries buy information all the time... that's their job."

But that is also illegal & if they are caught by the country that lost the information then they pay the penalty.
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  #46  
Old 08.04.2012, 13:18
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Simply put: Secret services of all countries buy information all the time...
Simply answered: Tax services are not secret services.
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  #47  
Old 08.04.2012, 13:54
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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About "Secret services of all countries buy information all the time... that's their job."

But that is also illegal & if they are caught by the country that lost the information then they pay the penalty.
Give me a single example where countries like Germany, the US, UK, France, Israel or any other first world country paid money for getting caught spying.
If North Korea would get a cent for every picture a spy sattelite takes of its territory...

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Simply answered: Tax services are not secret services.
No, that is not a simple answer because Germany is a bit different than Switzerland.

Again: Tax dodging is a crime in Germany and treated as such. No matter how bizarre this might sound for Swiss people: The three civil servants in question are "Steuerfahnder" - I would translate it with "tax police". They have pretty much the same rights as criminal police - they can get a warrant to search your house, confiscate documents or computers and get warrants to use all the same tools (getting warrants to listen to your calls or reading your mail...) any other criminal investigator can. For them is it 100% legal to pay for any informant that gives them valuable information.

The question according to German law is weather they instigated the informant to collect the data illegally for them or if the informant had the CDs ready and actively searched a buyer.

Economic espionage however is something comepletely different.
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  #48  
Old 08.04.2012, 14:05
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

Compare the Steuerfahnder to the police if you want (I would too), but not with the secret services. There are national laws and international conventions for the police too, if the Steuerfahnder think that no text of law apply to them, well, that's their problem. The Swiss shouldn't care about that and proceed the only way they legally can proceed.
The fact that the will to proceed is political doesn't change that either.
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  #49  
Old 08.04.2012, 14:29
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Compare the Steuerfahnder to the police if you want (I would too), but not with the secret services.
Not sure how it works in Switzerland, but the state (and federal) police in Germany is a "secret service" (the equivalent of the FBI). This service was the one who technically got the CDs, the Steuerfahnder negotiated the deal and paid for the CDs.


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There are national laws and international conventions for the police too
Exactly. Fully agree. Which German law or international convention did they break exactly?

None, that is the point: The Swiss know who in Germany comitted an act that would be illegal in Switzerland but is perfectly legitimate in Germany. Since there is no other way to press charges do the Swiss state attorneys try it with a claim for economic espionage. That's just idiotic...
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  #50  
Old 08.04.2012, 14:55
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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No, the case is not that simple and the fact that the three are not some average industrial spies but civil servants working for the tax authority is of course more than relevant:
1. Stretching the crime of economic espionage to the tax authority is in itself a rather bizarre move. I'd say that the Swiss state attorneys would have a hard time at court explaining it in the very unlikely case that this will ever get to court... economic espionage describes how one company uses illegal means to get secret info from other companies. The authorities, no matter which country, are not some economical entity: They have the power monopoly in a country and use this power to catch criminals, not gaining some competitive advantage.
-
If you a a civil servant in your country, when going abroad you become either a tourist or an expat, but are no longer a civil servant, UNLESS you get a diplomatic passport. Nobody did stretch a simple crime of buying stolen stuff to spionnage. No state attorney, for example in a court in Bern or in Zürich, would try to explain anything about spionnage, but would straight on tell the court that the accused bought stolen stuff of which he/they knew it was stolen

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Simply put: Secret services of all countries buy information all the time... that's their job. This time it was the tax authority who paid the bill and one could argue that they are stretching their mandate... but if the newspapers are right, did the NRW tax authority not act on their own, but in coordination with the federal police and secret services of Germany. The whole story was in many details legally questionable according to German law, but in essence basic police work. Unlike in Switzerland, where it is just some administrative offence, is tax dodging is in Germany a crime. Paying informants to catch criminals is completely normal practice, only the amounts are extreme - both for the information and the possibly recovered tax.
-
I neither did read all newspapers nor do I have access to the Bundesanwaltschaft, BUT I am perfectly sure that the legal texts do not contain any reference to any authorities in Germany. What is under discussion happened in Switzerland, and here, stealing bank-data for whomever, is a criminal offence.

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What really annoys me is the Swiss attitude between the lines: It is still basically accepted to support tax dodgers. That is the real problem, not that they sometimes get caught... (so I have absolutely zero empathy for the guy who "really really was just about to declare" his taxes when he got caught... don't dodge them in the first place, end of.)
-
Nobody supports tax-dodgers. Actual "Steuerhinterziehung" in Switzerland IS a criminal offence. But simply failing to declare something is a fault. If caught on something thelike, you will have to correct, and everything is carefully re-checked.
B) whether some Germans placing money into bank-accounts here payed their taxes at home legally, up to now, is of no legal relevance here. The new agreement will help the matter in so far as the banks will have to make compensation-payments via the Confederation to Germany on financial deposits. Details I cannot tell as I am neither a lawyer nor a banker, but it looks like a fair deal.

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2. Key is the jurisdiction. If the three accused did not travel to Switzerland and did their work here are they of course under German jurisdiction. What is a crime in Germany is defined in Berlin, not Berne (and vice versa...).
-
They apparently came to Switzerland to conduct what here is regarded as crime. Had they awaited their CH-partner in Konstanz or Singen or Oehnsingen, they would have had NO problem at all ! THIS is what I do not understand. They could have stayed in Konstanz, visited Zürich during the day and arranged that their partner brought the CD to their hotel in Konstanz the next day.

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All in all does the whole story look very politically motivated actionism. What always makes me sad is to see that those cheap PR tricks seem to work. The Swiss media hoorays and everyone is happy that the government is doing it's job to protect Helvetia from the evil Germans... while the Bundesrat at the same time step by step abandons the bank secrecy, gives the same type of info for free to the US authorities... let alone Blocher who gets rid of his political enemies by discussing their personal banking business in public.
-
Back to Blocher. As much as I dislike HIM, I share his dislike for the bankers. And to clarify it, the arrest warrant was NOT issued by the Swiss Federal Government but by the Bundesanwaltschaft, which is part of the judiciary. And look through all the info available. NOBODY in Switzerland expects those three officials really to get caught here. And NO, nobody sees the Bundesanwaltschaft as protecting Helvetia against the Germans, but most people are heavily amused about them giving "dänä än hartte Gingg as Schiibei" Sure, Germany, just as the USA will get the wanted info free of charge anyway. No, the Bundesrat is NOT abandoning the bank-secrecy but stripping it of aspects not really required. The Bank-Secrecy originally simply was a set of discretion-rules, which basically means that local and regional authorities cannot simply walk in and ask for the records in question but had to take the route via court, just as elsewhere. It was extended by the incredible powers of bankers here to extreme lengths. It is clear that the Swiss banks do not depend on this "tax-evasion" money but of course enjoyed the additional billions coming in.
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Old 08.04.2012, 14:59
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Compare the Steuerfahnder to the police if you want (I would too), but not with the secret services. There are national laws and international conventions for the police too, if the Steuerfahnder think that no text of law apply to them, well, that's their problem. The Swiss shouldn't care about that and proceed the only way they legally can proceed.
The fact that the will to proceed is political doesn't change that either.
Right. The point was and is to place a point. Again, nobody in Switzerland expects the three "criminals" to turn up at the police-station of Basel-Bad-Bhf and declaring "wir sind die Gesuchten" The whole affair is NOT a "Wagnerische Tragödie" but rather a nice "Humoreske"
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Old 08.04.2012, 15:02
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Not sure how it works in Switzerland, but the state (and federal) police in Germany is a "secret service" (the equivalent of the FBI).
I don't mind you calling a Swiss official an idiot, but there is nothing secret about the FBI either. Steuerfahnder are not above laws and international conventions. The Swiss use it for political reasons but still, they can. The only reason they treated the US differently is the blackmail they did : UBS gets peace if the US gets names. The world sucks, sure does. But the CD was stolen, that stays.
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Old 08.04.2012, 15:55
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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I don't mind you calling a Swiss official an idiot, but there is nothing secret about the FBI either. Steuerfahnder are not above laws and international conventions. The Swiss use it for political reasons but still, they can. The only reason they treated the US differently is the blackmail they did : UBS gets peace if the US gets names. The world sucks, sure does. But the CD was stolen, that stays.
OK, again and slowly:

1. Nobody disagrees that the data is stolen. It is and the guy who stole it is a thief and worse according to Swiss laws. He already received his sentence. A terribly low one, he does not even go to jail.

2. There are very different views on the usage of the stolen data. I personally do not think the government should make business with criminals, but that is an ethical question. I can fully understand that the tax authority has a point that the 2.5 M EUR can get some 100M EUR in taxes and that those 97.5M EUR is a lot of money a relatively poor state as NRW can use very well.

3. Swiss lawyers or courts might rule differently, but the highest German court has already decided in the last case that yes, German authorities can use the data. Here is the verdict: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht....bvr210109.html

However, the discussion starts there: Was the Liechtenstein case the same as the CS one? THAT is the core of the arrest warrants - the Swiss claim that last time the German authorities simply bought some existing CDs but this time "ordered" specific data from the thieve and therefore incited the poor Swiss banker to steal the data.
http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/politi....16236369.html

4. Here is the link to the crime they believe the Germans did: http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/311_0/a273.html It is illegal to give secrets to foreign companies or authorities. No surprise there... but I for one cannot at all see the foreign authorities crime according to this paragraph. And I could not find the point Wolli made that the agents came to Switzerland to pick up the CDs, has anyone a source for that? I read that some Austrian was the middle man and carried the info out of the country.

5. The thieve did not only steal some data, he also handed over some internal CS documents on sales strategies. They show nicely that relationship managers were trained and encouraged to help Germans to hide their money from the tax authority. Nobody seems to like to discuss this point in the Swiss media... if the German tax authority has enough proof that the tax evasion was systematical and encouraged by the bank is CS in much hotter water than before...
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Old 08.04.2012, 16:26
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Right, because a guy who drives a S-class and visits his private banker for lunch also shops for groceries at the Migros
Migros sells petrol too......
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Old 08.04.2012, 17:04
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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1. Nobody disagrees that the data is stolen.
Fine, you don't need the rest to give the Swiss right (Schweizern Recht geben).

I add that the Germans are entitled to take action against Steuerflucht (? Tax evaders?) - so I give the Germans right.

Seen from home, everybody is right. This is why it's such fun politically. Wait after the elections, it will slow down on the media side. The left-Länder that said no to the convention (Abkommen) will be far less rigid after the political debate has hit down this summer. We'll see.

It's sad that laws and conventions are used to play political games, but after the US-show about it, I don't have any expectations left on ethics. It's not helping me curing my growing cynicism.
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:24
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

Funny that many people in Switzerland get overexcited now.
The Swiss tax authorities had no qualms about using data which was stolen from a Liechtenstein 'Treuhänder'. Said data was subsequently sold to the German tax authorities. Back in 2000 the cooperation between the Swiss and German tax authorities seemed to have been a tad bit better than today - the Germans handed over the data concerning Swiss tax subjects (yes, Swiss residents dodge taxes, too ) to Swiss authorities. One of the guys on the receiving end of a claim for unpaid taxes took the Swiss authorities to court. The Swiss Bundesgericht (highest Swiss court) decided that the use of stolen tax data is not a problem.
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Old 09.04.2012, 04:20
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Funny that many people in Switzerland get overexcited now.
The Swiss tax authorities had no qualms about using data which was stolen from a Liechtenstein 'Treuhänder'. Said data was subsequently sold to the German tax authorities. Back in 2000 the cooperation between the Swiss and German tax authorities seemed to have been a tad bit better than today - the Germans handed over the data concerning Swiss tax subjects (yes, Swiss residents dodge taxes, too ) to Swiss authorities. One of the guys on the receiving end of a claim for unpaid taxes took the Swiss authorities to court. The Swiss Bundesgericht (highest Swiss court) decided that the use of stolen tax data is not a problem.
That's exactly the point here: A whole lot of hot air, but put on the front pages at the exact right time... the Swiss and the German parliaments will soon decide on the tax agreement that took years to agree on. It is a big compromise for both sides. By on the one hand pissing off your neighbour as well as pushing the right buttons to raise those vague fears Swiss always have to seem against Germany - that is a fairly obvious strategy to make sure this difficult agreement does not come through. (Part of the deal is that the German BaFin can actually come to Zurich and asses if the banks play by the new rules or not... to argue in favour of this will be extremely difficult for any Swiss politician in the public discussion now)

I personally find the article in NZZ I linked above shocking: The Swiss federal state attorney openly says that it was not his goal to get a hard punishment for the guy who stole the data. Instead, he wanted a quick deal and therefore offered him a verly light sentence in order to close this case to be able to battle it out with the German tax authority on the use of the data. Not sure if I am the only one who sees it differently: If you want to stop bankers from stealing data... you have to show them that they will end up in jail if they do so. By giving him a so light sentence (2 yrs on parole, some 3k CHF punishment or similar and a year of salary to CS as compensation...) do you not exactly scare bankers from doing similar things.

I do not know what political wing the Bundesanwalt is part of or if he has some motivation to join some higher political role soon (so he wants his face as often as possible in the papers...), but I'd say he is doing a really poor job. He is apparently convinced that the other countries trying to get their taxes are the baddies, not the Swiss bankers that steal from their employers. I disagree.
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  #58  
Old 09.04.2012, 13:28
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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1. Nobody disagrees that the data is stolen. It is and the guy who stole it is a thief and worse according to Swiss laws. He already received his sentence. A terribly low one, he does not even go to jail.
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Terribly low ? His crime was a simple theft

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2. There are very different views on the usage of the stolen data. I personally do not think the government should make business with criminals, but that is an ethical question. I can fully understand that the tax authority has a point that the 2.5 M EUR can get some 100M EUR in taxes and that those 97.5M EUR is a lot of money a relatively poor state as NRW can use very well.
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What tax authority ? The point is that three individuals bought stolen stuff. And this is CRIMINAL. A "poor state" ? NRW is larger than Switzerland and Austria together and so a very big German state.

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3. Swiss lawyers or courts might rule differently, but the highest German court has already decided in the last case that yes, German authorities can use the data. Here is the verdict: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht....bvr210109.html
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What a court in Germany has already decided is irrelevant. Their verdict also is irrelevant. Relevant is that those three criminals purchased stolen stuff. Had you referred to a verdict of the Bundesgericht in Lausanne, things would indeed be different

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However, the discussion starts there: Was the Liechtenstein case the same as the CS one? THAT is the core of the arrest warrants - the Swiss claim that last time the German authorities simply bought some existing CDs but this time "ordered" specific data from the thieve and therefore incited the poor Swiss banker to steal the data.
http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/politi....16236369.html
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Which means that the Bundesanwaltschaft now claims "Anstiftung zu Diebstahl" ?! Alright, let them prove this point, once any of the culprits is caught in Switzerland ! The culprit(s) would/will have a Swiss lawyer for the defence who will cut this accusation to pieces, maintaining that the accused simply were lured into accepting an interesting offer. And this would just be an "offence" resulting in a fine of CHF 500.--

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4. Here is the link to the crime they believe the Germans did: http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/311_0/a273.html It is illegal to give secrets to foreign companies or authorities. No surprise there... but I for one cannot at all see the foreign authorities crime according to this paragraph. And I could not find the point Wolli made that the agents came to Switzerland to pick up the CDs, has anyone a source for that? I read that some Austrian was the middle man and carried the info out of the country.
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if the CDs were not picked up in Switzerland, the case of the Bundesanwaltschaft is to collapse as no Swiss court will pursue something done in Germany. I just understood it in the way most people did.

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5. The thieve did not only steal some data, he also handed over some internal CS documents on sales strategies. They show nicely that relationship managers were trained and encouraged to help Germans to hide their money from the tax authority. Nobody seems to like to discuss this point in the Swiss media... if the German tax authority has enough proof that the tax evasion was systematical and encouraged by the bank is CS in much hotter water than before...
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And what is criminal about telling people how to place their money in a better way ? CS and UBS always told people in other countries that to deposit their money overhere was more tax-efficient. The tax-authority you mention simply can scan through the PR stuff of CS and UBS to find this. To tell people the truth is NOT criminal. Not at all.

Sure, I might advise CS managers to abstain from shopping trips to Germany in the immediate future
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Old 09.04.2012, 13:32
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Funny that many people in Switzerland get overexcited now.
The Swiss tax authorities had no qualms about using data which was stolen from a Liechtenstein 'Treuhänder'. Said data was subsequently sold to the German tax authorities. Back in 2000 the cooperation between the Swiss and German tax authorities seemed to have been a tad bit better than today - the Germans handed over the data concerning Swiss tax subjects (yes, Swiss residents dodge taxes, too ) to Swiss authorities. One of the guys on the receiving end of a claim for unpaid taxes took the Swiss authorities to court. The Swiss Bundesgericht (highest Swiss court) decided that the use of stolen tax data is not a problem.

The Principality of Liechtenstein is NOT part of the Swiss Confederation, and so, this was NOT something for any Swiss authorities.
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Old 09.04.2012, 14:05
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Re: Swiss arrest order against German banking spies

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Terribly low ? His crime was a simple theft
According to the courts was it more than that: economic espionage. God, I even posted the link to the paragraph, would you mind to read it before you write another 1000 word answer?

But even if it wasn't: If some criminal low life breaks into a jeweller and steals some watches will he for sure end up in jail. If a bank manager hurts his bank in the size of hundreds of millions - and it is hard to say how many PB clients left CS after all this media coverage - does he get a fine of 3500 CHF and has to pay some months of his salary to CS. Yes, I think this is ridiculously low.

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What tax authority ? The point is that three individuals bought stolen stuff. And this is CRIMINAL.
They are not individuals, they acted in their role as Steuerfahnder which have in Germany police status. In that role is it absolutely legal to buy stolen data. Both in Germany and Switzerland. Nobody is discussing this, not even the Bundesanwaltschaft. You are missing the point by a mile. The alleged crime is not that they bought stolen data, but probably "ordered" the theft. That would be illegal.

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A "poor state" ? NRW is larger than Switzerland and Austria together and so a very big German state.
Somalia is larger than Switzerland as well, does this make it rich? NRW is for German standards not a rich Bundesland and has a lot of debt. 97 Million Euro is a lot of money for them.

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And what is criminal about telling people how to place their money in a better way ? CS and UBS always told people in other countries that to deposit their money overhere was more tax-efficient.
You must be kidding me. We are not talking about "more tax efficient" or "better", we are talking about hiding money from the authorities. Not declaring your savings and the taxes on the capital gains is a crime in Germany, so helping your clients doing so is of course "Beihilfe". I frankly get the impression that you do not know much about banking, so in short: There are a lot of rules and regulations a private banker has to follow. They know exactly what they are allowed to offer their clients and what not. So a banker can advertise that Switzerland is a safe and stable place and offers world class bank privacy (with a track record of stole customer data...). So he can give hints that it is possible to hide your money, but he cannot actively sell a tax dodging service and is already in hot water if the client tells him that he is dodging his taxes. That is something that goes without saying and the bank really really does not want to know. If the documents in question proof that CS not only knew but willfully broke those laws and regulations can this turn out to become very expensive. You can bombard us with another essay, but that is simply a fact and the only reason the Germans were willing to pay millions for those documents.
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