Deutsche Bank offices searched in Panama Papers probe

Deutsche Bank offices searched in Panama Papers probe

Deutsche Bank offices searched in Panama Papers probe

Deutsche Bank headquarters got raided this week as another bank that regularly criticizes Bitcoin is again suspected of money laundering.

Other Deutsche offices in the city were searched in an operation involving about 170 police and officials.

The prosecutors said they were 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.

US and British regulators fined the bank $630 million previous year for allowing wealthy Russians to launder $10 billion in cash between 2012 and 2015.

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

Without providing details about the inquiry, Deutsche Bank stated, "The investigation has to do with the Panama Papers case". The bank confirmed that police had raided several locations in Germany and that it was co-operating fully with the probe.

The investigation emerged from an analysis of documents leaked from tax havens in recent years, including the 2016 "Panama Papers", said Frankfurt prosecutors' spokeswoman Nadja Niesen.

German authorities raided Deutsche Bank's headquarters today amid suspicions that its employees helped clients set up offshore companies that were used to launder hundreds of millions of euros.

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

In 2017, Deutsche already had to pay a fine of nearly $630 million after an investigation by British and American authorities into laundering of money originating in Russian Federation.

The prosecutor suspects further that proceeds from criminal activity were transferred into Deutsche Bank accounts without the bank flagging the transactions as potential money-laundering cases.

British banking authorities said at least 29 Deutsche Bank employees were involved in the scam, while U.S. regulators ordered the bank to fire seven employees, including directors and vice-presidents. The bank's CEO has since stepped down over the scandal. A Deutsche Bank executive director has said the lender played only a secondary role as a so-called correspondent bank to Danske Bank, limiting what it needed to know about the people behind the transactions.

The trouble with authorities comes at a time when Deutsche continued to face problems with its business.

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

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