Around 170 German police officers searched six Frankfurt branches of Deutsche Bank in an investigation into it having possibly set up offshore companies to help clients launder money.
The investigation stemmed from the Panama Papers, a cache of documents leaked from Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca and published in April 2016. The papers revealed how offshore tax havens were being used to conceal billions of dollars.
Prosecutors seized both documents and electronic files during the raids.
Deutsche Bank's headquarters were raided as part of a money-laundering investigation involving hundreds of millions of euros https://t.co/Ke9M9AdNG4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 29, 2018
Deutsche Bank responds to raids on its headquarters
The investigation is looking into suspicious financial activity which took place between 2013 and early 2018.
In a Twitter statement, the bank wrote: “We felt that we had provided the authorities with all relevant information about the Panama Papers.
“Of course, we will cooperate closely with the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt am Main, because we too are anxious to clarify all suspicions.”
Two Deutsche Bank employees are being investigated for their role in money laundering but no charges have been laid at this stage.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 29, 2018
Deutsche Bank were also drawn into a money laundering scandal involving Dankse Bank
The raids were not connected to charges laid against Denmark’s Danske Bank on Wednesday, but Deutsche Bank was also drawn into that scandal.
Prosecutors allege a Deutsche Bank subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands served more than 900
customers and generated some €311 million.
Earlier in November 2018, Deutsche Bank confirmed it had processed payments for Danske in Estonia.
The Danish bank said many of those payments processed in Estonia were suspicious. Deutsche said it had terminated the relationship in 2015 after “identifying suspicious activity”.
Deutsche Bank has also made headlines in recent years for its association with Donald Trump. The bank and the now US President once sued and countersued each other after Trump failed to repay a US$300 million loan.
Shares in Deutsche Bank fell 3% after news of the raids emerged.