‘Austrian tax evasion whistleblower’ dies in Swiss jail

An Austrian tax evasion whistleblower has been found dead in his prison cell, a local newspaper has claimed.Kronen Zeitung revealed today (Fri) the Tyrolean passed away in his cell in a jail in Winterthur, Switzerland.The Vienna daily claimed Swiss authorities have refused to give out any further information on the incident. It also reports that the man’s family were unaware he had been arrested.According to the article the 42-year-old was the unidentified whistleblower who raked in millions for handing a data disc carrying information about German tax evaders to the German government.Reports have it that the CD contained secret data on around 2,000 Germans who illegally stashed hundreds of millions of Euros on accounts in Switzerland to save taxes.Dozens of wealthy Germans got cold feet after the deal was made public earlier this year and decided to hand themselves in. German newspapers reported that many of those who confessed to tax evasion to escape charges were not mentioned on the data disc provided by the Austrian.The nationality of the man who tipped off German officials has previously not been revealed. Speculations had it he might be Swiss having worked for the country’s financial authority who would now go into hiding abroad with a new nationality to escape angered Swiss authorities.The debate over whether Germany should buy the top secret data caused a diplomatic rift between the country and Switzerland – which is widely regarded as a tax haven and a popular location to keep money for people from all over the world due to its high banking secrecy.