Wikileaks Swiss bank data leads to arrest of Rudolf Elmer

Photo of former Swiss banker and Wikileaks associated Rudolf Elmer.

Rudolf Elmer sees the Wikileaks Swiss bank data CDs he allegedly released as educational to society. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Politics, Religion and Family)

Rudolf Elmer, 55, a former employee of the Swiss bank Julius Bär and associate of Wikileaks, has been taken into custody by Swiss police, reports Reuters. Elmer has been accused of helping Wikileaks by violating Swiss bank secrecy laws in order to obtain customer data for Wikileaks. A Zurich court had found Elmer guilty of separate privacy violations – as well as for threatening a Julius Bär employee – just a few hours before he was slapped with fresh charges.

Wikileaks received two CDs filled with Swiss bank data

The prosecution claims that Rudolf Elmer handed Wikileaks two CDs filled with Swiss bank customer data that could potentially expose 2,000 “high net worth individuals.” This allegedly includes corporations and politicians from the U.S. and the U.K. that engaged in tax evasion. Julius Bär has denied wrongdoing and claimed that Elmer’s Wikileaks documents are forged. If true the Wikileaks Swiss bank data is proven true, the Guardian reports that Elmer would be the most infamous whistle-blower in Swiss banking history.

Elmer has revealed that he gave Wikileaks Swiss bank data “in order to educate society” regarding multinational conglomerates that are “using secrecy as a screen to hide behind” and avoid taxation. The “well-known pillars of society” allegedly hold large investment portfolios including homes, trading companies, artwork, yachts, jewelry and a variety of other high-worth possession. Their use of Swiss banks to skirt financial laws is an abuse that reaches all the way down to the average tax-payer, says Elmer.

Names will not be disclosed to the public

According to the Guardian, the names on the Wikileaks Swiss bank data CDs will not be made public, as is common with most Wikileaks disclosures made by Julian Assange his network. Rudolf Elmer first provided Wikileaks with a list of 15 Swiss bank clients in 2008, and those names have not been revealed, either. The Guardian writes that it found “details of numerous trusts in which wealthy people placed capital,” largely through a shelter in the Cayman Islands. This allowed trustees to avoid paying tax dollars on trust profits.

Sources:

Guardian

Reuters

Wikipedia

Julian Assange on Rudolf Elmer

Other recent posts by Steve Tarlow