Deutsche Bank offices raided in money laundering probe

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 30, 2018
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Photo taken on May 3, 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany shows the tower of the Deutsche Bank. [Photo / Xinhua]

German investigators have raided the offices of Deutsche Bank on Thursday as part of a probe into potential money-laundering activities by the Frankfurt-based lender.

Around 170 state prosecution officers, federal criminal police officers and tax investigation officers participated in the searches at six premises associated with Deutsche Bank in and around Frankfurt.

A spokesperson for the local state prosecution office confirmed that the raid was prompted by suspected money laundering offenses which were identified in the wake of the so-called "Offshore-Leaks" and "Panama Papers" scandals.

Two Deutsche Bank employees, as well as "other not yet identified culprits" are believed to have assisted customers in establishing shell corporations in tax havens and subsequently transferring funds derived through crime onto German accounts of the bank.

An entity associated with DAX-listed institute in the British Virgin Islands is believed to have assisted more than 900 customers in such transactions with a volume of 311 million euros (353 million U.S. dollars) since 2016 alone.

The offshore activity in question was not flagged to government authorities as being suspicious. As a consequence, the suspects are accused by prosecutors of having neglected their fiduciary duty to report on potential money laundering offenses although there was sufficient evidence to suggest criminal behavior on behalf of clients.

Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest financial institute, has posted heavy losses during past years as a spat of legal scandals and falling investment banking revenue weighed on its earnings. During the recent presentation of third quarter (Q3) figures, chief executive officer (CEO) Christian Sewing expressed confidence that ongoing corporate reforms were finally beginning to bear fruit as a "new discipline" in the bank took hold.

Responding to the raids on Thursday, Deutsche Bank released a statement in which it confirmed that the police was currently investigating "several" of its German locations with regards to the Panama Papers.

"We will communicate immediately as soon as we have more details. We will cooperate with the authorities fully", a statement by the bank read.

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