Deutsche Bank offices raided over money laundering affair
Deutsche Bank’s head office and other premises have been searched in Germany in connection with money laundering and the “Panama Papers”.
The bank says police and the public prosecutor’s office arrived earlier this morning (29 November) to search offices, including the head office at Taunusanlage in Frankfurt.
On its website, Deutsche Bank says “We confirm that the police are currently conducting an investigation at a number of our offices in Germany. The investigation relates to the Panama Papers. We will be issuing further details in due course. We are cooperating fully with the authorities.”
Its shares fell 3% after news of the raid emerged.
As reported on 21 November, the value of Deutsche Bank shares plummeted after confirmation it was involved in the money laundering corruption case concerning Danske Bank.
Howard Wilkinson, head of Danske Bank’s trading unit in the Baltics from 2007 to 2014 and responsible for spilling the beans in the whole Danske fiasco, claimed that a major European lender was involved in processing up to $150 billion in suspicious payments.
These claims were made at a Danish parliamentary hearing, which is looking into payments totalling €200 billion that were made through Danske’s Estonian branch.
In the latest chapter, the BBC says Germany’s public prosecutor alleged that two staff members have helped clients launder money from criminal activities.
Police cars were seen outside the tower blocks that house the headquarters of Germany’s biggest bank. Other Deutsche offices in the city were searched in an operation involving about 170 police and officials.
According to the BBC, prosecutors are looking into whether Deutsche Bank staff helped clients set up off-shore accounts to “transfer money from criminal activities”.
The investigation was sparked by revelations in the 2016 Panama Papers – an enormous amount of information leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca.
As you probably know, these documents lifted the lid on how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.