Deutsche Bank offices raided in money laundering probe linked to Panama Papers

Deutsche Bank offices raided in connection with Panama Papers

Writes the BBC, the authorities are "looking into whether Deutsche Bank staff helped clients set up off-shore accounts to 'transfer money from criminal activities'".

Some 170 police officers and investigators from the prosecutor's office were searching for six of the bank's premises in and around the city. German prosecutors raided several Deutsche Bank offices in the Frankfurt area over suspicions of money laundering based on revelations from the 2016 "Panama Papers" data leak.

Deutsche Bank has also come under scrutiny over its activities as a correspondent for scandal-plagued Danske Bank, Denmark's largest lender.

The prosecutors said they are looking at whether Deutsche Bank may have assisted clients to set up "Offshore-Companies" in tax havens so that funds transferred to accounts at Deutsche Bank could skirt anti-money laundering safeguards.

Frankfurt prosecutors' spokeswoman Nadja Niesen said the investigation was focused on two Deutsche Bank employees, aged 50 and 46, and possibly other not-yet identified suspects.

Deutsche Bank confirmed the search of its offices and said it was fully cooperating with the authorities.

As news broke Thursday morning that Deutsche Bank's German headquarters had been raided in Frankfurt over, numerous observers were quick to note the bank's deep ties to U.S. President Donald Trump.

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In 2016 alone, over 900 customers were served by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary registered on the British Virgin Islands, generating a volume of 311 million euros, the prosecutors said. "The case is related to the Panama Papers", a spokesperson said. "Something seems to be basically wrong in the compliance and anti-money laundering area of the bank".

A deeper probe of the bank was triggered after investigators reviewed so-called "Offshore-Leaks" and "Panama Papers", the prosecutor said.

In September, Germany's financial regulator ordered the bank to take further action to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

Christian Sewing was appointed as chief executive in April to help the bank to rebuild.

Last year, Deutsche Bank was fined almost $700million for allowing money laundering through artificial trades between Moscow, London and NY.

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

While Bloomberg notes that only the UK's Royal Bank of Scotland has paid out more in legal settlements than Deutsche Bank since 2008, various European institutions have sought to "bash" Bitcoin at the same time as being found guilty of financial crimes.

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