Swiss highest court has allowed tax authorities to turn over bank account details of two Indian citizens who had fought the release on the grounds that India’s request for assistance in a tax-dodging probe arose from stolen bank data.
The case involved information leaked by whistleblower Herve Falciani, a French citizen who worked for HSBC’s Swiss private bank and in 2008 disclosed details on thousands of clients he suspected were using accounts to evade tax.
The information sparked investigations in several countries and put Swiss banking secrecy in a harsh spotlight. Swiss courts have sentenced Falciani in absentia to five years in jail for industrial espionage but he has avoided prison by remaining outside Switzerland.
His leak forced Swiss courts to grapple with requests from other countries to help prosecute suspected tax dodgers whose Swiss accounts came to light.