Deutsche Bank offices raided in Panama Papers probe
The raids at six offices in Frankfurt prompted shares in the lender to fall 3%.
Investigators are looking into two staff members, aged 46 and 50, as well as possible suspects who have yet to be identified.
Deutsche employees are said to have helped clients set up offshore companies to launder hundreds of millions of euros.
Around 170 police officers, prosecutors and tax inspectors took part in the searches which saw written and electronic documents seized, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said.
Deutsche Bank said it was fully cooperating with authorities.
The investigation was triggered after investigators reviewed so-called Offshore Leaks and Panama Papers disclosures – caches of documents obtained by investigative journalists.
The Panama Papers – millions of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – were leaked to the media in 2016.
Prosecutors said they were looking at 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 get around 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.
It is also alleged that Deutsche Bank employees breached their duties by neglecting to report money launder suspicions about clients and offshore companies involved in tax evasion schemes.
The investigation is separate from another money laundering scandal surrounding Danish lender Danske Bank, in which Deutsche Bank has a role.
It is the latest challenge facing Deutsche’s new chief executive Christian Sewing who took the helm earlier this year and has set about cutting thousands of jobs in a re-shaping of the lender.
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