Sunday, February 24, 2008


The British government is overtly funding criminals - how is this legal/right? HM Revenue & Customs have paid £100,000 for data from a thief, who some are calling a whistleblower, who was suspected, accused and then sacked for stealing data from a Liechtenstein bank, the thief has been convicted of fraud. [Times] However...

"The British tax authorities have paid an informant for the bank details of scores of wealthy Britons. The records were stolen from one of the world’s most secretive tax havens."

Information from the same 'informant' has led to raids on various houses and offices seen in the growing tax scandal in Germany.

If the UK government is openly buying stolen data surely the multiple data loss scandals should be looked at in another light and investigated independently: as has been said on numerous occasions, such info in the hands of 'professional' criminals is worth a none-too-small fortune.

For info: Liechtenstein is one of three places in Europe that are classified as "uncooperative tax havens" by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); this is due to their refusal to allow tax authorities from other countries any access to their clients' bank details.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I'd love to know what would happen if HMRC tried to use any of this information in a criminal court. The Americans have an expression 'fruit from the poisoned tree' to describe evidence obtained by means which in themselves are illegal.

There are all sorts of moral issues here, not to mention DATA protection issues, obtaining stolen goods/information etc.

You do actually wonder who has the cajones to authorise this is in the first place.