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Germany

Whistle-blower claims 250 German companies evade tax

An informant has told German authorities that he has information showing 250 companies are involved in tax evasion. The Bild am Sonntag newspaper says that up to 800 million euros may be involved in the alleged evasion.

A red whistle

The data put forward by the anonymous whistle-blower is being investigated

A whistle-blower claims he has information showing 250 German companies are evading taxes by moving money to Switzerland. The informant has reported his alleged findings to German authorities, according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

The newspaper said the data allegedly points to up to 800 million euros ($1 billion) stashed away in Swiss banks. The information was apparently e-mailed to the finance ministry in the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Willi Staechele, the state finance minister, told the Bild am Sonntag "we are taking this e-mail seriously and are studying whether the data can legally be touched."

In the past Switzerland has reacted angrily to German purchases of stolen data about Swiss bank accounts.

Baden-Wuerttemberg has said it refuses to do deals with whistle-blowers. But a state spokesman in Stuttgart told the dpa new agency that if the data were true, they would act on it.

According to the newspaper, the anonymous whistle-blower claimed most of the 250 companies in question were from the telecommunications and real-estate sectors.

Author: Joanna Impey (AP/dpa)
Editor: Kyle James

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