German Police Searching Deutsche Bank Offices Under Panama Papers Case


Police in Frankfurt raided six offices of the country's largest moneylender, Deutsche Bank, on Thursday, following allegations of facilitating and failing to report money laundering.

On Thursday, as the raids were going on, the vice chairman of supervision for the U.S. Federal Reserve, Randal Quarles, met Deutsche Bank management for an unrelated and previously scheduled appointment at the bank's headquarters, a spokesman for the Fed said.

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

Prosecutors are probing 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.

In 2016 alone, more than 900 customers are alleged to have transferred €311m to one such company in the British Virgin Islands, a spokeswoman said.

Law firm Mossack Fonseca which specialised in setting up offshore companies was at the centre of an international scandal
JOE RAEDLE GETTY IMAGESLaw firm Mossack Fonseca which specialised in setting up offshore companies was at the centre of an international scandal

Earlier in the day, German media reported that searches were being carried out in the offices of the bank, in particular, in Frankfurt, on suspicions of money laundering.

Deutsche Bank said it was fully cooperating with authorities. The officials said the raid wasn't related to its role as a correspondent bank for money laundering at Denmark's Danske Bank.

Sources have told Reuters that Deutsche Bank helped process the majority of those payments.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News had reported that Deutsche was the unnamed bank a Danske whistleblower said had handled nearly $150 billion of suspect transactions originating in the Danish firm's Estonian branch. On average, equities research analysts expect that Deutsche Bank AG will post 0.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Christian Sewing, a retail banking veteran who took over as CEO in April, has tried to accelerate an overhaul of the bank, which has already closed hundreds of branches, cut thousands of jobs and slashed costs. He trimmed USA operations and reshuffled the management board but revenue has continued to slip.

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Deutsche Bank offices in Frankfurt were raided this morning.

Deutsche and Danske banks are not the first to be stung following revelations contained within the Panama Papers.

In January, BaFin president Felix Hufeld said the agency had found no evidence of substantial breaches of money laundering rules by the banks named in the Panama Papers.

It is separate from another money laundering scandal surrounding Danske Bank, where Deutsche Bank is involved.

The probe, he said "goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit".

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Police walk in front of Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 29, 2018.

Deutsche Bank shares fell sharply after the news broke.

Several other institutions besides Deutsche Bank have been fined by authorities in the US and Europe for not properly checking up on the beneficial owners of shell companies that send money through their accounts.

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