Court says France cannot use stolen bank data for searches

AFP reports:

France’s highest appeals court has ruled that authorities may not use a list of 3,000 people suspected of tax evasion as a basis to conduct searches due to its illicit origin.

French authorities in January 2009 acted on a Swiss warrant and seized data about global banking giant HSBC’s customers from former computer specialist Herve Falciani’s home in France.

The decryption of the stolen files held by the former HSBC employee had allowed for the identification of 127,000 accounts belonging to 79,000 people, officials said at the time.

French authorities then used the information to launch tax evasion probes into individuals, including searches of homes to find evidence.

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