The offshore bank account details of 2,000 high net worth individuals and corporations - detailing massive potential tax evasion - will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London on Monday by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.
British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer told The Observer, approximately 40 politicians.
Elmer, who after his press conference will return to Switzerland from exile in Mauritius to face trial, is a former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands and employee of the powerful Julius Baer bank, which accuses him of stealing the information, the Observer reported.
Elmer is releasing the information in order to educate society. The list includes high net worth individuals, multinational conglomerates and financial institutions - hedge funds. They are said to be using secrecy as a screen to hide behind in order to avoid paying tax. They come from the US, Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia - from all over, the media report said.
Clients include business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates - from both sides of the Atlantic. Elmer says: Well-known pillars of society will hold investment portfolios and may include houses, trading companies, artwork, yachts, jewellery, horses, and so on.
What I am objecting to is not one particular bank, but a system of structures, he told the newspaper. I have worked for major banks other than Julius Baer, and the one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes, and other things such as money-laundering - although these cases involve tax evasion.