Deutche Bank’s Frankfurt headquarters and five other offices faced dramatic police raids today amid major money laundering allegations. The large-scale sweeps were conducted today by about 170 police officers, prosecutors and tax inspectors. Numerous police vehicles could be seen parked up outside the giant investment bank’s entrances as written and electronic documents were seized from the premises.
Deutsche Bank is one of the world’s biggest banks and operates in 16 cities with more than 11,000 employees in large swathes of Europe, Asia and America.
But the financial services lender has faced several high-profile scandals.
In 2017, the bank was landed with a £506m fine by the Financial Conduct Authority for failing to prevent $10 billion of Russian money-laundering.
And now it seems more allegations have been put against the banks.
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Why are police raiding Deutsche Bank in Germany today?
Deutsche Bank was today raided as part of investigations into money laundering associated with the Panama Papers.
The Panama Papers are a set of millions of documents leaked in 2015 by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and Co linking offshore accounts to alleged fraud and tax evasion.
Prosecutors are now examining whether bank employees helped clients set up offshore companies in tax havens in order to launder money between 2013 and 2018.
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More than 900 customers were served by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary registered on the British Virgin Islands, generating a volume of 311 million euros, it is alleged.
The current investigation relating to today’s raids was launched back in August.
What has Deutsche Bank said?
Deutsche Bank confirmed today’s raid earlier on its Twitter account.
The bank tweeted: “It is true that the police is currently conducting an investigation at a number of our offices in Germany.
“The investigation has to do with the Panama Papers case.
“More details will be communicated as soon as these become known. We are cooperating fully with the authorities.”
In a separate statement, the bank said: “Of course, we will cooperate closely with the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt, as it is in our interest as well to clarify the facts.”
The bank has publicly admitted it needs to do more to improve its processes record after months of negative attention.
Deutsche Bank shares earlier plummeted by more than three percent after details of the raid were revealed.
The bank has already recorded annual loses after agreeing to pay a $7.2 billion settlement with US authorities after it sold toxic mortgage agreements prior to the 2008 financial crash.