(Bloomberg) -- German authorities secured a trove of tax data from Dubai, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said, marking the first time the federal government has used the technique in efforts to stem tax crimes.
The Central Federal Tax Office paid about 2 million euros ($2.4 million) to purchase the data from an anonymous source, Der Spiegel reported. German state governments have previously made such purchases to combat tax fraud.
“Tax evasion is not a trivial offense, but a criminal act,” Scholz told reporters in Berlin on Friday. “We don’t tolerate this.” He didn’t provide specifics on how the data were obtained.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s former state finance minister Norbert Walter-Borjans, now the co-chairman of the Social Democratic Party, began to buy CDs of data from Switzerland in 2010 to crack down on tax fraud. The practice triggered a wave of self-disclosures in Germany and raids of Swiss banks and their customers in the country.
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