Germany steps up tax evader crackdown with Dubai data purchase
‘With the new set of data, we are illuminating dark corners in which tax offenders so far have holed up,’ Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement.
The purchase comes ahead of Germany's September 26 national election in which Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (pictured), who is also the vice chancellor in the outgoing government, is the centre-left Social Democrats' candidate to succeed conservative Angela Merkel as Germany's leader [File: Axel Schmidt/Reuters]
16 Jun 2021
Germany’s finance minister has ordered the purchase of data on Germans with assets in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, as part of efforts to combat tax evasion, following similar purchases by regional authorities of data from Switzerland in the past decade.
The Finance Ministry said the data on the CD was sent to regional financial authorities on Wednesday for them to examine and decide whether to launch proceedings against possible offenders.
Why UK’s network of ‘Treasure Island’ tax havens is in trouble
CAIR calls on Hilton hotels to drop Xinjiang project
Israeli-owned vessel docked in Dubai after mysterious explosion
Supply glut keeps Dubai on sidelines of prime property upswing
“We are using all means to uncover tax offenses,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement. “With the new set of data, we are illuminating dark corners in which tax offenders so far have holed up.”
Negotiations with an anonymous informant were launched in January and the purchase for an undisclosed sum was made in February, though it was announced only now.
The purchase comes ahead of Germany’s September 26 national election in which Scholz, who is also the vice chancellor in the outgoing government, is the centre-left Social Democrats’ candidate to succeed conservative Angela Merkel as Germany’s leader. Although Scholz is widely respected, his party has not pulled out of a long-term poll slump.
One of the co-leaders of Scholz’s party, Norbert Walter-Borjans, bought several CDs containing data on Swiss banks’ clients when he was the finance minister of Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, between 2010 and 2017. Switzerland expressed outrage at those moves.
Der Spiegel magazine first reported the purchase of a CD containing details of assets in Dubai such as tracts of land and real estate owned by German nationals.
It said an anonymous informant approached German officials and offered to pass on the data, for which the Federal Tax Office paid about 2 million euros ($2.42m), Spiegel said.
Tax authorities in Germany’s 16 states had in the past sought information from countries like Switzerland to unearth possible tax evasion by wealthy Germans.
Euro 2020: France, Germany to kick off group of death
It will be the first time the two nations face off in the group stages of a major tournament.
15 Jun 2021
‘Betrayal’: Namibian opposition MPs slam Germany genocide deal
Prime minister calls for unity but opposition MPs accuse gov’t of sidelining them and the communities directly affected.
8 Jun 2021
Germany, UN to host Libya conference
Talks will focus on the national elections planned for December and the withdrawal of foreign troops and mercenaries.
1 Jun 2021
Why are some in Germany suggesting anti-Semitism is ‘imported’?
Refugees are being blamed for anti-Semitism, but most anti-Jewish hate crimes are committed by far-right activists.
28 May 2021
As Olympics begin, Japan rolls out red carpet for Pfizer CEO
Zomato IPO catapults founder towards list of Indian billionaires
India’s weight-loss guru Rujuta Diwekar on why grandma knows best
US prosperity weakened by COVID-19, mass shootings, report finds
In Herat, ex-Mujahideen commander leads efforts to resist Taliban
Taliban: ‘No one wants a civil war’ in Afghanistan
Tokyo Olympics officially begin under spectre of pandemic
Iran’s Khamenei says water-crisis protesters not to blame
Our Channels
Our Network
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless.
You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen. To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.
Cookie preferences