"We received the data on 30 September from the German tax authorities. Our dataminers have been analysing the data for some weeks now", Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt (N-VA) said in Parliament, responding to a question by MP Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo).
It's not the first time the German tax authorities are supplying data to their Belgian counterpart, but their previous data turned out to be encrypted and anonymous, and going back to 2006. This time, the bank accounts can be linked to actual family names and addresses that are useful to tax detectives.
The size of the data is unprecedented, exceeding those linked to the Panama Papers and SwissLeaks. Germany bought the stolen data for 5 million euros. Van Overtveldt wants to enquire whether his tax department can also buy leaked data in the future.