Po­lice raid Deutsche Bank in ‘Panama Pa­pers’ probe

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Ger­man pros­e­cu­tors raided sev­eral Deutsche Bank of­fices in the Frank­furt area Thurs­day over sus­pi­cions of money laun­der­ing based on rev­e­la­tions from the 2016 “Panama Pa­pers” data leak.

Frank­furt pros­e­cu­tors said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing al­le­ga­tions that Germany’s big­gest lender helped clients set up off­shore com­pa­nies in tax havens to “trans­fer money from crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties” to Deutsche Bank ac­counts.

The lat­est raid was a new blow to the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion that has been ham­mered by a string of scan­dals linked to its pre-2008 cri­sis at­tempts to com­pete with Wall Street in­vest­ment bank­ing gi­ants.

Some 170 po­lice of­fi­cers and in­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Frank­furt pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice were search­ing six of the bank’s premises in and around the city, the pros­e­cu­tors said in a state­ment.

Deutsche Bank said it was “fully co­op­er­at­ing” with the au­thor­i­ties on the case which it said was “re­lated to the Panama Pa­pers.”

The Panama Pa­pers scan­dal that erupted in 2016 with a mas­sive data leak from Pana­ma­ian le­gal firm Mos­sack Fonsenca ex­posed large-scale tax avoid­ance, lay­ing bare how the world’s wealthy and pow­er­ful stashed their as­sets in off­shore busi­nesses.

Deutsche Bank was among hun­dreds of fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions whose names cropped up in the me­dia re­ports.

The Frank­furt pros­e­cu­tors said their probe was fo­cussing on two Deutsche Bank em­ploy­ees aged 50 and 46, as well as “sev­eral” un­named se­nior staff mem­bers.

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