Elmer Hands Baer Data to Wikileaks

17:52 Monday 17th January 2011
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY BURROWS: A former Swiss banker claims to have provided to the Wikileaks website bank account details which he says have been used by major corporations and wealthy individuals to evade taxes. Rudolf Elmer, a former branch manager of a Swiss bank called Julius Baer. He says he has 2,000 bank accounts belonging to high net worth individuals, including politicians, influential business people, and multinational conglomerates. The accounts are connected with Britain, the US, Germany, Austria and Asia. He says he is releasing the information to educate society. (TAPE)
RUDOLF ELMER: I want to let society know what I do know, and how this system works. Because it’s damaging our society in a way that money is moved back away to for instance from financial institutions, multi-national conglomerates, high net worth individuals. The money is hidden in offshore centres or secrecy jurisdictions, (to be) technically correct”. (LIVE)
ANDY BURROWS: Jack Blum is a former investigator for the United States Congress, and also Rudolf Elmer’s lawyer in Washington. He thinks that it’s right to expose this tax evasion practice. (TAPE)
JACK BLUM: Why do we allow a system like this to operate? Why do we allow some countries to make a living by hiding the tax money that has not been paid, by hiding money that has been stolen, and hiding money that has been derived from various other kinds of crimes? I think the time’s come for an end to that system, and real openness. (LIVE)
ANDY BURROWS: The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, who’s whistle-blowing website is still working, praised the ex-banker’s attempts to expose alleged shady practices in the financial industry. He said the information would be published in due course. (TAPE)
JULIAN ASSANGE: Once I’ve looked at the data, assuming it’s not anomalous, assuming it’s like everything else we receive, yes, there will be full revelation. We have have quite a few things to deal with at the moment. But if we can delegate the matter appropriately, then it could be a couple of weeks. If not, it will take longer.” (LIVE)
ANDY BURROWS: Wikileaks back in the news again.