Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters
German police raided Deutsche Bank offices on Thursday, looking for evidence in money laundering investigation to hide money abroad to avoid tax collectors taxes and governmental control authorities.
"Police officers and tax inspectors entered the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt early Thursday morning and seized documents," reports Esme Nicholson of NPR in Berlin. "Prosecutors are investigating two bank employees who allegedly helped clients set up offshore companies to avoid money laundering guarantees when transferring money to Deutsche Bank accounts."
Nicholson adds that "according to investigators, only in 2016, more than 900 Deutsche Bank clients were served by a registered subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands".
Deutsche Bank has been fined and criticized for its poor record in preventing money laundering. According to Deutsche Welle, "In August, he confirmed that even after being fined for helping Russian clients wash about $ 10 billion, his mechanisms to stop such criminal activities were still ineffective. .
In a brief statement, the bank confirmed the ongoing investigation "in several of our offices in Germany".
Without providing details about the investigation, Deutsche Bank said: "The investigation concerns the Panama Papers case". "We are cooperating fully with the authorities," he added.
It is true that the police are currently investigating several of our offices in Germany. The investigation concerns the Panama Papers case. More details will be communicated as soon as they are known. We cooperate fully with the authorities.
– Deutsche Bank (@DeutscheBank) November 29, 2018
In recent years, Deutsche Bank has made headlines not only for its notoriety in the Panama Papers, but also for its links with President Trump, in a tumultuous relationship that dates back 20 years.
Trump and the bank sued after failing to repay a loan of $ 300 million. And author and journalist Luke Harding described a "mixture of money" between the bank's relationship with personalities in Russia and its relationship with Trump.
In an interview with NPR's Fresh Air a year ago, Harding said: "While money from Deutsche Bank New York goes to the Trump Organization, Deutsche Bank in Moscow is at the center of An extensive money laundering operation conducted in Russia for an amount of about $ 10 billion ". allowed Russian elites to take rubles from Russia and convert them into US dollars
US and UK authorities have imposed heavy fines on Deutsche Bank for its practices involving Russian accounts, Harding said.
Containing at least two terabytes of data, the Panama Papers – a wealth of documents emanating from a Panamanian law firm – explained how hundreds of people and businesses were using offshore accounts to conceal money, in a report also naming big banks such as HSBC and UBS. in addition to Deutsche Bank.