Police raid Deutsche Bank offices in money laundering case

Deutsche Bank offices raided in connection with Panama Papers

They contained evidence of widespread abuse of the global financial system including tax avoidance and evasion by celebrities, politicians and corporations.

The Deutsche Bank investigation is focused on a handful of employees suspected of helping clients set up offshore companies in tax havens, and for allowing "proceeds of crimes" transferred to Deutsche Bank accounts without reporting them to authorities, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Deutsche Bank confirmed the search, adding that it is fully cooperating with the authorities.

Money obtained illegally may have been transferred to accounts at Deutsche Bank, which failed to report the suspicions that the accounts may have been used to launder money, Frankfurt prosecutors said. 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.

Police and the public prosecutor's office raided Deutsche Bank's offices in Germany, including the head office at Taunusanlage in Frankfurt, the bank said.

The latest raid is a new blow to Deutsche Bank, which has been hammered by a string of scandals linked to its pre-2008 crisis attempts to compete with Wall Street investment banking giants.

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Chief executive Christian Sewing, who took over in April, has been shedding jobs and making other cost cuts in an attempt to revive the bank's performance. He trimmed USA operations and reshuffled the management board but revenue has continued to slip.

This morning police vehicles surrounded the Frankfurt headquarters of Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank offices raided in connection with Panama Papers
Panama Papers Probe: Deutsche Bank Headquarters raided

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

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.

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

The bank has publicly said that it agreed it needed to improve its processes to properly identify clients.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at the time that "Deutsche Bank did not merely mislead investors: it contributed to an worldwide financial crisis".

Prosecutor Nadja Niesen said one of Deutsche Bank's offshore branches on the British Virgin Islands handled transaction volumes worth $354 million (311 million euros) for more than 900 clients.

Denmark's state prosecutor on November 28 filed preliminary charges against Danske for alleged violations of the country's anti-money laundering act in relation to its Estonian branch. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice is still ongoing.

Same year, more money: after the Libor scandal fines, Deutsche Bank agreed to a hefty batch settlement with the USA financial authorities.

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