The details of thousands of rich bank clients who have used offshore accounts to avoid paying tax are likely to be exposed by the website WikiLeaks.
Rudolf Elmer, a former Swiss bank employee, handed over two CDs containing the information to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in London yesterday.
The discs are understood to include the details of 2,000 rich individuals and corporations, including 40 politicians and some celebrities.
Mr Elmer declined to give any information about the "high -net worth" individuals and companies on the discs, although he said that those named were from all over the world.
He has described them as "well-known pillars of society" whose "investment portfolios may include houses, trading companies, artwork, yachts, jewellery, horses, and so on".
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.
Mr Assange, who is fighting extradition to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual offences, said the names could be published on the WikiLeaks website in two weeks, once they have been verified. (© Daily Telegraph, London)