Spanish police have arrested a former employee of HSBC’s Swiss private bank who was convicted of industrial espionage after leaking clients’ tax information, Spain’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
Herve Falciani, a French citizen, fled Geneva to France in 2009 after HSBC discovered the leak and put him under investigation. He says he is a whistleblower who wanted to help governments track down tax evaders.
France, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Argentina launched investigations based on the information, but Switzerland’s highest court rejected a French request for help in a case saying the data was stolen and therefore inadmissible.
Falciani has been living in France, which does not usually extradite its own citizens and where there are no legal proceedings against him.