Germany has committed to sharing tax evasion information as a widening tax scandal involving its citizens and the tax haven of Liechtenstein spreads to other parts of Europe.
Germany has already revealed the names of some of its own wealthy citizens who have been hiding assets in secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein. Now it is offering to provide the information to other countries in Europe whose citizens have accounts in Liechtenstein, according to Deutsch Welle.
Germany reportedly paid approximately $6.2 million for information provided by a former employee of the Liechtenstein banking group LGT. The CD-ROM included a list of more than 1,000 names of wealthy individuals who have made deposits at the bank.
The United Kingdom has also reportedly paid for such a list, according to the Financial Times. U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants the country's treasury to take action against any tax evaders revealed on the list. Scandinavian countries have also expressed interest in the list, and the Netherlands plans to receive the information as well
Australian authorities have also reportedly received information from another Liechtenstein bank, Liechtensteinsche Landesbank, about Australian citizens who have accounts there, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The tax scandal first hit the headlines in Germany with raids earlier this month on the home and offices of Klaus Zumwinkel, head of the country's postal service, Deutsche Post, who has since resigned. Since that time, German authorities have been raiding the homes and businesses of other individuals who have set up accounts with LGT, which is owned by Liechtenstein's royal family.
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