German police raid Deutsche Bank in 'Panama Papers' graft probe

30 November, 2018, 09:59 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Criminal police officers prosecutors and tax inspectors searched Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt

Police in Frankfurt raided six offices of the country's largest moneylender, Deutsche Bank, on Thursday, following allegations of facilitating and failing to report money laundering.

Police and the public prosecutor's office raided Deutsche Bank's offices in Germany, including the head office at Taunusanlage in Frankfurt, the bank said.

The investigation was launched after evaluation of the explosive Panama Papers tax haven revelations and the previous Offshore Leaks report of offshore bank accounts, according to a government spokesman, Nadja Niesen.

The Deutsche Bank investigation is focused on a handful of employees suspected of helping clients set up offshore companies in tax havens, and for allowing "proceeds of crimes" transferred to Deutsche Bank accounts without reporting them to authorities, according to the Wall Street Journal.

During raids of a number of Deutsche Bank offices across the city, which were confirmed in a statement from the bank, officials seized paperwork and electronic documents.

"The investigation has to do with the Panama Papers case", the bank said.

TRT World's Ira Spitzer has more details from Berlin.

In 2016 alone, over 900 customers were served by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary registered on the British Virgin Islands, generating a volume of 311million euros, the prosecutors said.

Shares in Deutsche Bank fell 2.75 to €8.36 by 1000 GMT, against a DAX blue-chip index up 0.6%.

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It is separate from another money laundering scandal surrounding Danske Bank, where Deutsche Bank is involved.

And in 2017, the bank was fined almost $700 million for allowing money laundering.

"These flaws allowed a corrupt group of bank traders and offshore entities to improperly and covertly transfer more than $10 billion out of Russian Federation", the regulators said.

In September, Germany's financial watchdog - BaFin - ordered Deutsche Bank to do more to prevent money laundering and 'terrorist financing, ' and appointed KPMG as third party to assess progress.

Deutsche employees are said to have helped clients set up offshore companies to launder hundreds of millions of euros.

Howard Wilkinson, the man who blew the whistle on a massive money laundering scheme through the Estonian branch of Denmark's Danske Bank, speaks during a hearing at the Danish parliament building Christiansborg Castle on Monday Nov. 19. This year, the bank saw its credit rating downgraded, its CEO ousted and its stock price hit a record low.

Deutsche Bank is in the throes of a major restructuring plan, with 7,000 jobs to go by the end of 2019.

The news comes as Deutsche Bank tries to fix its tattered reputation after three years of losses and a drumbeat of financial and regulatory scandals.

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