Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Deutsche Bank POLICE RAID: Investigators STORM Frankfurt HQ - shares plummet 3 percent

Deutsche Bank POLICE RAID: Investigators STORM Frankfurt HQ - shares plummet 3 percent

The analysis "gave rise to suspicion that Deutsche Bank was helping clients set up so-called offshore companies in tax havens and the proceeds of crimes were transferred there from Deutsche Bank accounts" without the bank reporting it.

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

The Panama Papers - millions of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca - were leaked to the media in 2016.

"As far as we are concerned, we have already provided the authorities with all the relevant information regarding the Panama Papers", Deutsche Bank spokesman Joerg Eigendorf told reporters in Frankfurt.

The investigation is separate from another money laundering scandal surrounding Danish lender Danske Bank, where Deutsche Bank is involved.

The lender may have helped clients in setting up offshore companies in tax havens.

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

Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt offices were searched Thursday as part of a probe linked to the Panama Papers.

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Deutsche Bank shares were down more than 3 per cent by midday on Thursday and have lost nearly half their value this year.

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. "Something seems to be basically wrong in the compliance and anti-money laundering area of the bank".

The raids are the latest embarrassment for embattled Deutsche Bank, which has repeatedly been rapped by regulators for lax money laundering controls. In the past, Deutsche Bank has acknowledged that its anti-money laundering efforts have fallen short of financial rules.

According to the report, numerous bank records have been seized as part of this raid.

Prior to that, other bank sources had delivered more dismissive comments, chief strategist Ulrich Stephan in November previous year saying he "would simply not recommend (Bitcoin) to the everyday investor".

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

Deutsche Bank has spent more than $18 billion paying fines and settling legal disputes since the start of 2008, according to company disclosures compiled by Bloomberg News.

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