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Crimes of the Swiss banksters: UBS, BIS and Credit Suisse

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject: Crimes of the Swiss banksters: UBS, BIS and Credit Suisse Reply with quote

Original headline
Swiss bank whistleblower Rudolf Elmer convicted of turning in tax evaders



fish5133 wrote:
This could be fun

"i am against the system"


Link


Quote:
'Bank Details Of The Rich' May Be Made Public

New Wikileaks. Tax invasions of high flying fat cats. Or is this a set up to nail Assange

WikiLeaks could release what is reported to be secret bank account details of around 2,000 rich and famous individuals and corporations.

It comes after Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website, was given a new dossier by former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer.

Assange, who has vowed to reveal the details once they are verified, has already released thousands of secret US diplomatic cables.

Speaking in London, Mr Elmer said he wanted to expose mass tax evasion before he flies back to Switzerland to stand trial accused of stealing information from a bank.

He handed over two CDs to Assange and said they contained bank account details of "high net worth" individuals and businesses.

Mr Elmer, who worked for eight years in the Cayman Islands, a renowned offshore tax haven in the Caribbean, has not named those involved.

But he claims the discs contain information about 40 politicians along with business people, multinational conglomerates and figures from the art world.

He said those included in the documents are from Britain, the US, Germany, Austria, Asia and "all over".

Mr Elmer, a former executive at Julius Baer Bank, said he was releasing the information to educate society.

"I do think, as a banker, I have the right to stand up if something is wrong," he said.

"I am against the system. I know how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. From that point of view, I wanted to let society know what I know. It is damaging our society."

Assange said the names could be published on the WikiLeaks website in two weeks, once they have been verified.

He said: "We dealt with the Bank Julius Baer issue in 2008 - that's when it had its peak of prominence. It is not a new issue for us.

"I have read some of Mr Elmer's writings. He is clearly a bona fide whistleblower and therefore I feel, given the past involvement in the case, that we have some duty to support him on that matter."

Assange is currently fighting extradition to Sweden where he faces sex offence allegations.


http://web.orange.co.uk/article/news/bank_details_of_the_rich_may_be_m ade_public?sid=98b3cff91f55

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Last edited by TonyGosling on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:37 am; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's now been convicted!!!
translation from - http://www.swissinfo.ch/ita/societa/Furto_di_dati:_condannato_ex-banch iere.html?cid=31782248
see also - http://bazonline.ch/wirtschaft/agenturen-ticker/Jetzt-beginnt-die-Aera -der-Whistleblower/story/23432257

Data theft: Ex-banker convicted
... A CD Collection (imagepoint)
Other developments
Switzerland sowing discord in the European Union
The tax peace with Germany is now almost done
Rudolf Elmer, the spotlight in the dock
Switzerland exceeds the OECD examination
... A CD Collection (imagepoint)
Other developments
Switzerland sowing discord in the European Union
The tax peace with Germany is now almost done
Rudolf Elmer, the spotlight in the dock
Switzerland exceeds the OECD examination

Gerhard Lob, swissinfo.ch

A former employee of Credit Suisse has been condemned by the Federal Criminal Court for having sold to the German authorities data relating to customers of the institution. It remains unclear how such information may be used in the future.


After Rudolf Elmer, the former head of Julius Baer in the first instance sentenced in January to Zurich for repeated breach of banking secrecy (but where the process should be repeated), another former employee guilty of having communicated to a third party bank details had to accounts with the Swiss courts.

Thursday, December 15, the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona (TPF) has in fact imposed a two years' imprisonment and a fine of 3,500 francs - both conditionally suspended sentences - a former employee of Credit Suisse, guilty of stealing bank details and then subsequently sold to the German tax authorities.

The man in particular was found guilty of espionage, money laundering, and violation of professional secrecy and banking. Moreover, by way of compensation to be paid 30,000 francs to the former employer and 180,000 francs to the federal government.

Specific requests

The man, now 28 year old, was working within the Credit Suisse as an assistant to some financial advisers from different branches of the bank in the Zurich area. According to the allegations during the trial, he would have begun to collect data bank initially only for "passion" and "historic."

The evidence - Lost in a fitness center - would then be randomly ended up in the hands of an acquaintance, an Austrian entrepreneur. The latter, realizing the potential for profit, he would have contacted and from that moment the whole operation took shape.

In 2008 - with the connivance of the Austrian, which acted as a liaison with the authorities of North Rhine-Westphalia - the man has now collected data on 2,500 to 1,500-German customers, whose total deposits were close to 2 billion francs.

Taking advantage of an Austrian citizen, the authorities were also able to send the Swiss official inquiries focused on the German customers (for example: date of opening the account, movements, interest). For his role in the transaction with the broker was paid 2.5 million euros, of which 320,000 ended up in the pockets of the employee Helvetic.

Tragic end

In Switzerland, the spy hunt was initiated in early 2010, following the revelations of the German press on the purchase of bank information by the tax authorities. At that point, the Ministry of the Attorney General had decided to open an investigation.

The investigation later led to the identification of the two people involved. The Austrian - believed by investigators to the true mind of the operation - was arrested on September 15, 2010 in the Czech Republic, however, is the man committed suicide while in custody in the prison in Bern region.

Judgement final

The decision of the Federal Criminal Court is a court: the parties have in fact already stated during the hearings that would not have submitted an appeal against the sentence.

It is therefore probable that the German authorities soon receive requests for judicial assistance from Switzerland, as the reward of 2.5 million - part of which is located in Germany - is considered by the federal government as a result of an unlawful act , and then be confiscated.

The outcome of the story is still far from clear: previous calls from Confederation on the people involved in the purchase of bank details have remained unanswered.

And now?

The case just considered is not unique. The data relating to bank customers in Germany in recent years have caused many tensions between Bern and Berlin. For Germany, the precious CDs have proved a boon: they have allowed the identification of several evaders, and others have led to self-denunciations.

To be legal, however, discuss the legality of using the result of a theft for tax purposes. The matter has also occupied the German Constitutional Court, which - in a decision of November 2010 - agreed that this particular use of "stolen property", thereby strengthening the position of the Revenue.

With a distinction: to be allowed is the use of data offered to Germany, and not their purchase. And the case recently dealt with in Bellinzona shows rather clearly the active role played by the German tax authorities.

Issues

In the future, the purchase of tax data by the German authorities should in fact cease under the new tax agreement between the two countries signed in Berlin in September 2011.

According to the agreement, the German authorities undertake not to get groped active data on clients of Swiss banks. In this regard, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble stated that this provision would be respected immediately.

The situation is far from resolved: the agreement between Switzerland and Germany is opposed by the opposition of Germany, and its entry into force is for now still under discussion.


Gerhard Lob, swissinfo.ch
Translation and adaptation: Andrea Clementi

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

German tax inspectors get the third degree

Switzerland seeks arrest of German tax collectors
Sat, Mar 31 2012 - By Erik Kirschbaum and Katie Reid
BERLIN/ZURICH | (Reuters) - Switzerland has issued arrest warrants for three German civil servants, accusing them of industrial espionage for buying the bank details of German tax evaders, the finance ministry of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said on Saturday.
In the latest chapter of an ugly dispute over tax evasion that has strained ties between the two neighbors, a spokeswoman for the ministry confirmed a report about the arrest warrants due to appear in Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
The three Germans, who are tax investigators, could be arrested if they enter Switzerland, the newspaper said.
News of the warrants emerged as the two countries worked over the weekend to salvage a landmark deal on taxing secret offshore accounts, after the main German opposition party, the SPD, said the plan was full of loopholes.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition needs the backing of SPD-controlled states to push the tax deal through the Bundesrat upper house, but SPD state premiers have said concessions offered by Switzerland do not go far enough.
Switzerland's strict bank secrecy code has helped it build a $2 trillion offshore financial sector, and a pact with Germany would protect this banking tradition in return for a punitive Swiss-levied tax on German-held accounts.
The Swiss have come under intense pressure over the past few years from several countries trying to clamp down on tax evasion - notably the United States - and in Germany's case the strain has already led to a war of words between the Swiss and their northern neighbors.
One Swiss politician likened former German finance minister Peer Steinbrueck to a Nazi after he called for a "carrot and stick" approach to tax havens like Switzerland.
Thomas Mueller, a member of the Swiss centre-right Christian People's Party, said of Steinbrueck at the time: "He reminds me of the generation of Germans from 60 years ago who went through the streets wearing leather coats, boots and (Nazi) arm-bands."
Steinbrueck, who said he had received threatening letters from Switzerland, said the Nazi comparisons were "unacceptable".

GERMAN ESPIONAGE SUSPECTED
In the latest row, some Swiss believe they have already made enough concessions to Germany and should go no further.
"You can assume that we won't vote for the deal under such circumstances," Swiss People's Party politician Hans Kaufmann was quoted as saying in the Swiss daily TagesAnzeiger on Saturday, while a spokesman for the Swiss Bankers Association told the paper the changes only made the agreement worse.
The Swiss attorney general, putting the ball in the German court, issued a blunt statement on Saturday saying "There is a concrete suspicion that specific orders from Germany were issued to use espionage to obtain information from Credit Suisse."
"The attorney general has asked German authorities for assistance."
Hannelore Kraft, state premier of Germany's most populous region, told Bild am Sonntag she was appalled by the warrants.
"It's an outrage," said Kraft, who is seeking re-election in a vote on May 13. "The NRW tax investigators were simply doing their job tracking down German tax dodgers who stashed undeclared money in Swiss banks."
Germany has made several previous efforts to catch wealthy citizens avoiding taxes, often using data on compact discs.
In February 2008, police raided homes and offices in cities across Germany, targeting about 1,000 people in a huge tax evasion probe after the government paid an informant millions of euros for a compact disc holding Liechtenstein bank data.
In 2010 several German states, including NRW, said they had bought compact discs containing Swiss bank data from whistleblowers as part of a drive to flush out tax evaders. That prompted thousands of Germans to declare their financial holdings to avoid risking jail sentences.

DISPUTE WITH USA
The federal government gave state authorities the go-ahead to buy the information even if it was obtained illegally. Germans have an estimated 150 billion Swiss francs ($200 billion) hidden in secret Swiss accounts.
The Swiss are also involved in a long-running tax dispute with the United States, which is investigating 11 banks including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer for helping Americans evade taxes.
Banks are likely to have to pay hefty fines and hand over thousands of client names to end the U.S. investigations, but the issue should not have a big impact on assets as most have already closed the accounts of U.S. offshore clients, after UBS paid $780 million to settle criminal charges in 2009.
One of the best known whistleblowers is former Julius Baer banker Rudolf Elmer, who helped bring the WikiLeaks website to prominence three years ago when he used it to publish client details from Julius Baer to expose tax evasion.Elmer, who was recently released from Swiss investigative custody over alleged breaches of Swiss bank secrecy laws, ran the Cayman Islands branch of Julius Baer until he was fired in 2002.
Julius Baer, which has denied its Cayman Islands branch was used for tax dodging, has said Elmer waged a personal vendetta against the bank after it refused his demands for compensation following his dismissal.
Last year, Julius Baer paid a fine to close a tax probe by German authorities, who have also raided the offices of Credit Suisse.
(Additional reporting By Matthias Inverardi in Duesseldorf and Katie Reid in Zurich; Editing by Tim Pearce)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/31/us-germany-switzerland-tax-e spionage-idUSBRE82U0H620120331
http://www.rudolfelmer.com/2012/04/01/switzerland-seeks-to-arrest-of-g erman-tax-collectors/

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christoph Meili is Swiss, and was working as a security guard when, on his rounds one night, he stumbled across a tranche of second world war era records in a storage room at a major insurance company. Interested in history, he looked more closely and found ledgers full of insurance policies held by German-Jewish customers up to 1945, at which point they were unilaterally frozen by the company. Of special poignancy were stacks of letters from destitute Holocaust survivors and victims’ families, begging for the policies’ terms to be met – all dismissed on spurious technical grounds. Security is a respected occupation in Switzerland and Meili could boast two degrees, but he didn’t need them to recognise these papers as significant, so he hid a handful in his coat and found a photocopier, but in the time it took the machine to warm up, he lost his nerve.#
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/22/there-were-hundreds-of -us-crying-out-for-help-afterlife-of-whistleblower

Two weeks later, he found another large stash of historical documents at the giant bank UBS, including two black ledgers detailing loans made to German companies before and during the war. Among these companies were a maker of chemicals used in concentration camps and others active at Auschwitz. As the war neared an end, corporate registrations had been transferred to Swiss banks in order to keep their assets from the Allies.

Christoph Meili
Christoph Meili: ‘A voice in my head said, “It’s not your responsibility, this is serious, take the ledgers back.” But another voice wouldn’t let me’. Photograph: Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images
But there was worse, because Meili realised this was no archive store: it was a shredding room. He looked closer and found details of profit accrued from the “forced sale” of real estate in Berlin between 1930 and 1945 – knowledge of which banks had always denied. He knew that the Swiss government had just passed a law forbidding destruction of war records, but also that – technically at least – to take them would be theft.

He took the ledgers home, parked them on his kitchen table and went out to walk the dog. A voice in his head said, “It’s not your responsibility, this is serious, take them back” but another voice wouldn’t let him. His worried wife suggested handing the files to a Jewish cultural group she knew. So Meili did, expecting that to be that.

Two days later, a Jewish community leader pulled up in a big black Mercedes, with news that the UBS papers had been passed to financial police in Zurich. Meili was speechless. Scared. “You’re a smart guy – you’ll be OK,” the man said, but the next day Meili arrived home to find a lawyer there, inviting him downtown to make a statement, just as news arrived that he had been suspended from work. He took his wife and children (whom he’d had to scold for scribbling on the ledgers) for a burger, then stepped into a bizarre new future.

A press conference was called. Meili told reporters the information he had released belonged not just to the Jewish community, but to the public at large: “The Swiss people should know their banks were involved with Nazi corporations.” Now the world’s press was on his doorstep but, as nearly all whistleblowers will tell you, he found this comforting, because the press lent protection and support. For three weeks, Meili was a hero and the banks promised to set up a $200m fund for Holocaust victims. He met some elderly survivors who would now be helped, and he felt good. But the feeling didn’t last long.

Meili’s problems started when the US-based Anti-Defamation League arrived to present him with an award and announce the creation of a $36,000 legal defence fund in his name, while also launching a $28bn lawsuit on behalf of Holocaust victims against the banks. “The problem is that what I did wasn’t about money,” he says. “It was about history and helping the poor people whose lives had been ruined by what these banks had done. But when money came into the picture, so did politics.”

Now the Swiss public assumed him to be rich (he was unemployed and on benefits), and the mood changed, emboldening an already cagey indigenous media to weigh in with stories painting him a liar and a traitor; a turncoat who couldn’t follow orders; a gold-digger and even a Mossad agent. Then the Swiss authorities launched a judicial investigation into him.

As with Chubb and Moore, the rightness of Meili’s actions is so clear that the narrative of his life from this point on is hard to credit. Following death threats to him and his family, an Act of Congress signed by the then president Bill Clinton granted them shelter in the US on 1 January 1997. The US Jewish community organised a stipend to help while framing a case against the banks. Meili claims to have been handed 35 humanitarian awards in the years after he blew the whistle, but still he struggled to find work. His wife left with their children; he later remarried and had another child, but struggled to support that family and, rootless, lost them, too.

Five years ago, Meili’s mother persuaded him to return to Switzerland and he sits in his small living room in Wil, near Zurich, as we Skype. When he arrived home, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation website ran a piece headed “Christoph Meili returns – as hero or villain?” which looks bizarre from all but a banker’s perspective. He has been on three different work programmes since returning and attended a mental health clinic, “because I needed some help, you know, my self-esteem was so down, I had to build myself up again.” He says his eldest daughter, now 21 and studying at an American college, has just been to visit, but that her brother won’t speak to him. He works part-time selling Bosch tools, and a third marriage has been good so far, which is perhaps why he’s able to laugh again. “But it’s not the same. I miss my kids. I’ve missed them growing up, it was taken from me.”

He has an outstanding lawsuit against a Swiss newspaper, he tells me, because every two years a tabloid returns to harass him. So he’s still a pariah? Now he softens. “Actually, it’s getting better. Every Saturday at work I have one or two people look at me and go, ‘Hey, you’re that guy!’ but most are nice about it now. After the financial crisis, they say, ‘You’re the guy that first came out against these banks.’ And then they’re happy to see me.”

Which is all to the good, but still some way short of a happy ending.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anyone doubting the veracity of Mr. Bennett assertions please go to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists website at http://www.icij.org. They have a team of journalists who are currently going through tens of thousands of Swiss HSBC accounts and documents showing precisely what Scott is talking about. Other banks like Swiss UBS are involved too and they have been very busy lately. The US, UK, Switzerland, France (probably others) have known about these crimes and have been sitting on the information for years. More revealing are the names and organizations of those involved…and I can assure you the corruption goes right to the very top of the food chain. Lot’s of rats have jumped off the Swiss cheese are scurrying to find new places to launder their dirty money. Look at the names and follow the money – because it’s in our own back yards. Money popping up everywhere, shell after shell LLC fronts with millions in investment money for real estate, water rights, strangely located unnecessary developments, mining and on and on…

http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2015/05/04/special-ops-officer-blows -whistle-on-cia-funded-isis-through-swiss-bank-accounts/

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Urs Schwarzenbach: the private currency trader with Swiss tax authorities on his case
Polo-loving friend of royals furious after ‘warning shot’ over a £125,000 painting found in his jet
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/urs-schwarzenbach-the- private-currency-trader-with-swiss-tax-authorities-on-his-case-a703893 1.html

Jim Armitage @ArmitageJim 9 months ago

Urs Schwarzenbach, who owns a village in Buckinghamshire, with wife Francesca, a former Miss Australia Rex Features
He’s the richest gent in English high society you’ve never heard of. For years, while his foreign exchange trading empire was in full flow, Urs Schwarzenbach was one of the biggest in the business.

Since his first major break getting the job of running UBS’s foreign exchange operations in London during the Seventies, he has earned hundreds of millions of pounds trading in currencies.

But reports of a major fight with the tax authorities back in his original home in Switzerland suggest life is becoming rather more difficult for this close friend of Prince Charles.


READ MORE
Schroders tycoons flout the rules on good governance
Not that he isn’t still short of a bob or too. The Sunday Times Rich List puts his current worth at £1.08 billion, making him Britain’s 109th richest person.

When looking for UK properties, he was able to afford not just a mansion in the shires but a whole village — Hambleden in Buckinghamshire, which formed the backdrop to Midsomer Murders.

Companies House and Land Registry records show that, like his 26,000-acre Scottish estate, he owns the village through offshore vehicles.

A director of the Guards Polo Club, owner of the Black Bears polo team and a keen former player of the sport, he lives with his wife Francesca, a former Miss Australia, in Culham Court, part of his sprawling estate — which is also owned offshore — near Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire.

urs-schwarzenbach-estatet.jpg
Culham Court, Berkshire (Rex Features)
His friendship with polo-loving Princes Charles and Harry add to his socialising with City royalty like Icap’s Michael Spencer.

But outside those rarefied circles, he is immensely private, only appearing in the newspapers on the society circulars of the poshest British aristocratic functions.

Business contacts who have worked with him in the UK describe him as “extremely decent” and “impeccably charming” although precisely how he got so super-rich is hard to surmise beyond his ownership of InterExchange, a foreign exchange dealership he set up in 1976.

schwarzenbach-prince-charles-polo.jpg
Urs Schwarzenbach with Prince Charles
In a rare interview in 2011, he gave the vaguest of explanations: “I got some money from my father and started in the Seventies, to speculate in currencies. I’ve sold British pounds at the right time, among other things.”

However he made his money, few get that wealthy without making enemies. In Schwarzenbach’s case, that seems to include some very influential authorities in Switzerland.

Recently, as he stopped off in his new Gulfstream jet at an out-of-the-way airport in Spain, he was reportedly held by customs officers.

According to a local police statement, a 67-year-old Swiss citizen — believed to be Schwarzenbach —was asked if he had anything to declare: “No,” came his reported response. But according to a Guardia Civil press release, the officials found in the passenger cabin a large — 3.5 metres by two metres — artwork, rolled up in plastic. The piece was recently completed by the British painter Ben Johnson.

The Guardia Civil seized the painting, Patio de los Arrayanes, under suspicion that it was being smuggled — “contrabando de arte” as the press statement put it. The “sole occupant of the plane” was then told he was under suspicion of attempting to move the €160,000 (£125,000) picture to Spain without paying taxes.


READ MORE
Tim Parker, one of the UK's richest men, attacks high pay
Schwarzenbach was, by all accounts, furious and friends say he denies any wrongdoing.

The tycoon is one of the world’s biggest art collectors, and even had a private gallery built in Australia solely to house his Aboriginal collection. His friends claim the Spanish were given a duff tip-off by the Swiss authorities. They say he only stopped over in Spain en route to Morocco, where the picture was destined to hang in his renovated palace in Marrakech.

This version of events seems to be backed by the artist himself. Johnson tells the Evening Standard from his Hammersmith studio that the piece was specially made to go with another already hanging in the palace.

“He had kindly let it be displayed at a public gallery in Southampton first but we always knew it was going to Marrakech because it was to go with another picture,” he says.

A simple mistake by the Swiss authorities, then? Not according to one friend: “Urs has trodden on the wrong toes in Switzerland, and this is what you might call a warning shot.”

schwarzenbach-polo.jpg
For Schwarzenbach is involved in long-running battles with Swiss tax authorities over other parts of his art collection, including works he has installed in another of his properties, the Dolder Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Zurich.

Travel and art guides rave about the Dolder collection boasting Pissarros, Warhols and Dalis. But the Swiss Customs Administration has claimed he imported valuable artworks without paying millions of francs in tax.

In 2013, the authorities searched the Dolder and Schwarzenbach-related art in a Zurich duty-free warehouse, seizing documents and electronic data.

READ MORE
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Private schools catering to the global elite are spending lavishly because of their huge UK tax breaks- it has to stop
Again, he strongly argues he had done nothing wrong, telling a Swiss newspaper: “If the authorities see the facts differently from my lawyers, the judge must decide.” He said the Dolder artworks were for sale, so were not liable to Swiss import taxes. Tax would only be payable when the pieces were sold, he added.

This year, according to reports in the Swiss press, as investigations into his businesses’ tax affairs continued, authorities were granted a freezing order on Swfr200 million (£142 million).

Schwarzenbach, who declined to comment due to the ongoing investigations, is said to have wound down his foreign exchange trading in Zurich since last summer.

That has triggered speculation in some quarters of the Swiss media that he was trying to move cash out because of his tax troubles. Time to buy some more pretty British villages, perhaps?

Whatever happens, there’ll be plenty to chat about between chukkas as the polo season gets under way.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very different reaction from the ADL here..

http://investmentwatchblog.com/scott-bennett-is-a-us-army-psyops-whist leblower-who-tried-to-expose-union-bank-of-switzerland-for-financing-t errorism-al-qaeda-benghazi-isis-through-the-us-allies-saudi-qatar-turk ey-israel-b/
Wonder why?

State Dept whistleblower exposes UBS/Booz Allen ISIS funding

Link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndwYJi4Vzt0


TonyGosling wrote:
Christoph Meili is Swiss, and was working as a security guard when, on his rounds one night, he stumbled across a tranche of second world war era records in a storage room at a major insurance company. Interested in history, he looked more closely and found ledgers full of insurance policies held by German-Jewish customers up to 1945, at which point they were unilaterally frozen by the company. Of special poignancy were stacks of letters from destitute Holocaust survivors and victims’ families, begging for the policies’ terms to be met – all dismissed on spurious technical grounds. Security is a respected occupation in Switzerland and Meili could boast two degrees, but he didn’t need them to recognise these papers as significant, so he hid a handful in his coat and found a photocopier, but in the time it took the machine to warm up, he lost his nerve.#
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/22/there-were-hundreds-of -us-crying-out-for-help-afterlife-of-whistleblower

Two weeks later, he found another large stash of historical documents at the giant bank UBS, including two black ledgers detailing loans made to German companies before and during the war. Among these companies were a maker of chemicals used in concentration camps and others active at Auschwitz. As the war neared an end, corporate registrations had been transferred to Swiss banks in order to keep their assets from the Allies.

Christoph Meili
Christoph Meili: ‘A voice in my head said, “It’s not your responsibility, this is serious, take the ledgers back.” But another voice wouldn’t let me’. Photograph: Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images
But there was worse, because Meili realised this was no archive store: it was a shredding room. He looked closer and found details of profit accrued from the “forced sale” of real estate in Berlin between 1930 and 1945 – knowledge of which banks had always denied. He knew that the Swiss government had just passed a law forbidding destruction of war records, but also that – technically at least – to take them would be theft.

He took the ledgers home, parked them on his kitchen table and went out to walk the dog. A voice in his head said, “It’s not your responsibility, this is serious, take them back” but another voice wouldn’t let him. His worried wife suggested handing the files to a Jewish cultural group she knew. So Meili did, expecting that to be that.

Two days later, a Jewish community leader pulled up in a big black Mercedes, with news that the UBS papers had been passed to financial police in Zurich. Meili was speechless. Scared. “You’re a smart guy – you’ll be OK,” the man said, but the next day Meili arrived home to find a lawyer there, inviting him downtown to make a statement, just as news arrived that he had been suspended from work. He took his wife and children (whom he’d had to scold for scribbling on the ledgers) for a burger, then stepped into a bizarre new future.

A press conference was called. Meili told reporters the information he had released belonged not just to the Jewish community, but to the public at large: “The Swiss people should know their banks were involved with Nazi corporations.” Now the world’s press was on his doorstep but, as nearly all whistleblowers will tell you, he found this comforting, because the press lent protection and support. For three weeks, Meili was a hero and the banks promised to set up a $200m fund for Holocaust victims. He met some elderly survivors who would now be helped, and he felt good. But the feeling didn’t last long.

Meili’s problems started when the US-based Anti-Defamation League arrived to present him with an award and announce the creation of a $36,000 legal defence fund in his name, while also launching a $28bn lawsuit on behalf of Holocaust victims against the banks. “The problem is that what I did wasn’t about money,” he says. “It was about history and helping the poor people whose lives had been ruined by what these banks had done. But when money came into the picture, so did politics.”

Now the Swiss public assumed him to be rich (he was unemployed and on benefits), and the mood changed, emboldening an already cagey indigenous media to weigh in with stories painting him a liar and a traitor; a turncoat who couldn’t follow orders; a gold-digger and even a Mossad agent. Then the Swiss authorities launched a judicial investigation into him.

As with Chubb and Moore, the rightness of Meili’s actions is so clear that the narrative of his life from this point on is hard to credit. Following death threats to him and his family, an Act of Congress signed by the then president Bill Clinton granted them shelter in the US on 1 January 1997. The US Jewish community organised a stipend to help while framing a case against the banks. Meili claims to have been handed 35 humanitarian awards in the years after he blew the whistle, but still he struggled to find work. His wife left with their children; he later remarried and had another child, but struggled to support that family and, rootless, lost them, too.

Five years ago, Meili’s mother persuaded him to return to Switzerland and he sits in his small living room in Wil, near Zurich, as we Skype. When he arrived home, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation website ran a piece headed “Christoph Meili returns – as hero or villain?” which looks bizarre from all but a banker’s perspective. He has been on three different work programmes since returning and attended a mental health clinic, “because I needed some help, you know, my self-esteem was so down, I had to build myself up again.” He says his eldest daughter, now 21 and studying at an American college, has just been to visit, but that her brother won’t speak to him. He works part-time selling Bosch tools, and a third marriage has been good so far, which is perhaps why he’s able to laugh again. “But it’s not the same. I miss my kids. I’ve missed them growing up, it was taken from me.”

He has an outstanding lawsuit against a Swiss newspaper, he tells me, because every two years a tabloid returns to harass him. So he’s still a pariah? Now he softens. “Actually, it’s getting better. Every Saturday at work I have one or two people look at me and go, ‘Hey, you’re that guy!’ but most are nice about it now. After the financial crisis, they say, ‘You’re the guy that first came out against these banks.’ And then they’re happy to see me.”

Which is all to the good, but still some way short of a happy ending.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swiss security systems- not secure

After years of formal and informal negotiations, Volkswagen has agreed to the publication of the paper after accepting the authors’ proposal to remove one sentence from the original manuscript.
Garcia and his colleagues Roel Verdult and Bariş Ege, from Radboud University in Nijmegen, said they found several weaknesses in the Swiss-made immobiliser system, called Megamos Crypto. The device works by preventing the engine from starting when the corresponding transponder – embedded in the key – is not present.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/18/security-flaw-100-c ar-models-exposed-scientists-volkswagen-suppressed-paper



High court imposes injunction on Flavio Garcia, who has cracked security system of cars including Porsches and Bentleys
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jul/26/scientist-banned-re vealing-codes-cars

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swiss Acknowledge Profiting From Nazi Gold
By ALAN COWELLDEC. 14, 1996
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/14/world/swiss-acknowledge-profiting-fr om-nazi-gold.html?mcubz=0

Under pressure to explain its financial dealings with Nazi Germany, the Swiss National Bank publicly acknowledged today that it had made a profit on its wartime dealings in gold bullion with the German central bank. And for the first time, it gave an estimate of its gains: 20 million Swiss francs.

But the bank's vice president, Jean-Pierre Roth, insisted at a news conference in Zurich that contrary to the assertions of some American Jewish groups, there was no evidence that gold stolen from individual Holocaust victims had passed through the Swiss National Bank during World War II.

''Even if Germany did steal gold from the countries it occupied and transferred it to the Swiss central bank, there is nothing to indicate that gold from concentration camps was among this,'' Mr. Roth said.

Mr. Roth also denied that the Swiss National Bank was still holding gold marked by the Reichsbank, the German central bank until the end of the war. ''Our investigations have shown that we no longer hold any ingots bearing German stamps,'' he said.

But financial experts said the disclaimer presumably did not cover the possibility that gold from the Reichsbank might have been melted down to hide its origin.

Continue reading the main story
The bank's disclosures today seem certain to lead to further calls for Switzerland, which has long been known as a financial refuge protected by bank secrecy laws, to pay early compensation to victims of the Holocaust from what United States Jewish groups maintain is an array of profits made in dealings with Nazi Germany.

In addition to the trading by the central bank, American Jewish groups have charged that Swiss banks still hold billions of dollars in unclaimed assets belonging to Holocaust victims, many of whom put their money into Switzerland before the war as persecution increased. The Swiss banks say they have located only $32 million in unclaimed assets.

The groups say Switzerland profited from trading in both monetary gold -- the bullion held by central banks -- and nonmonetary gold -- gold assets held by individuals in the form of jewelry or coins. The groups have said the nonmonetary gold included gold taken from the teeth of Holocaust victims.

At today's news conference, Mr. Roth said Swiss profits on trade in bullion with the German central bank totaled an estimated 20 million Swiss francs in commissions on a total wartime trade of 1.2 billion Swiss francs. ''The figure is new,'' Werner Abegg, the Swiss National Bank spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

He said it was unclear, however, whether those sums were quoted in wartime or present-day values. At the exchange rate in 1946, 20 million Swiss francs would have been worth $4.8 million. A recent British Foreign Office report said that at the end of the war, the United States estimated that some $200 million worth of Nazi bullion had passed through Switzerland in the war.

But according to Commerce Department officials in Washington, other recent estimates by Congressional investigators have suggested that the real amount was more than twice that much.

In response to a mounting outcry in recent months, the Swiss authorities have offered to waive some of their bank secrecy laws to permit several investigations into the charge that Switzerland profited from the Holocaust.

One inquiry in conjunction with United States investigators is to look into the fate of unclaimed assets. Switzerland has also established a panel of eminent historians and jurists to investigate its financial dealings with Nazi Germany.

Mr. Abegg, the National Bank spokesman, said the bank made its disclosures today ''in preparation for the commission of experts'' that is to begin its inquiries in Switzerland next year.

He said Mr. Roth had explained that Switzerland was trading with Nazi Germany as the price of its effort to prevent Nazi occupation. At the time, Switzerland was encircled by Nazi-occupied countries.

''Both the Allies and the Germans had an interest in a free Swiss franc market,'' Mr Abegg said. He quoted Mr. Roth as saying in Zurich today that Switzerland's wartime ''dealings with the Allies were higher'' than those acknowledged with Germany. But he said he was unable to provide figures for those transactions.

The Swiss National Bank reached its estimate on the basis of commissions earned on transactions in bullion from the Reichsbank that in most cases, he said, had merely passed through Switzerland in routine gold trading. The remainder, Mr. Roth said at the news conference, ''together with gold ingots of differing origins, was used for minting coins after the war.''

Previous reports have said Nazi Germany looted gold from the central banks of countries it occupied to finance its war effort. By most accounts, the stolen gold was first gathered together in Berlin and stamped as German gold before being shipped to Switzerland.

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