The revelations are based on work of a team of investigators assembled by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ), who analyzed and pieced together the story behind documents made available to them by France’s newspaper Le Monde by special arrangement to study and publish the data as thoroughly and quickly as possible. The tax authority data had been hacked from the bank’s servers by former employee-turned-whistleblower Herve Falciani, who handed it over to the French government.
Altogether the leaked internal files show more than $100 billion held in accounts almost ten and more years ago – from 1988 to 2007. The documentation also is said to include employee conversation notes with the clients themselves.
The data released by the ICIJ show Latvia had 43 client accounts linked to 62 different bank accounts worth approximately $121.8 million, with the largest amount connected to a single client being $94.4 million.
In terms of the money involved, Latvia lists 98th among the 203 countries from where the clients originated. Latvia is 103rd in terms of the number of clients holding the accounts.
At the time, HSBC controlled $100bn in assets and served a swath of super-rich depositors, from the elite to the illicit.
The report lists prominent figures in business, film, music, sport and even the heads of royal families and ambassadors, but account depositors also included arms dealers, terror suspects and fugitive diamond merchants.