Spain uses stolen HSBC data for tax probe

Spain uses stolen HSBC data for tax probe

Spain has become the latest country to tap data stolen from HSBC's Swiss private banking arm by an IT employee to hunt down tax evaders.

Herve Falciani stole account data for around 79,000 clients three years ago and fled to France while under investigation before eventually handing it over to authorities.

In April, French prosecutor Eric de Montgolfier revealed that the stolen files have been decrypted and launched a tax investigation based on over 8000 accounts related to French customers.

The following month Italian police launched their own investigation after being given a list of around 7000 account holders by French counterparts.

Now, according to local media reports, details on around 3000 accounts, which could hold around EUR6 billion, have been given to Spanish authorities.

In an interview with state television, the country's finance minister, Elena Salgado, revealed that the holders have been told about the development and warned they have to put "accounts in order with the treasury" and pay any penalties.

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