German police search Deutsche Bank offices in tax haven case

Police walks in front of Deutsche Bank headquarters as roughly 170 criminal police officers prosecutors and tax inspectors searched Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt Germany

Police walks in front of Deutsche Bank headquarters as roughly 170 criminal police officers prosecutors and tax inspectors searched Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt Germany

Frankfurt prosecutors said they were investigating allegations that Germany's biggest lender helped clients set up offshore companies in tax havens to "transfer money from criminal activities" to Deutsche Bank accounts.

In total around 170 police officers raided six properties belonging to the bank and seized electronic and paper documents.

The Panama Papers are a trove of documents from a law firm that handled shell companies for thousands of the rich and powerful around the world. Of course, we will cooperate closely with the public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt, as it is in our interest as well to clarify the facts.

The officials said the Thursday raid wasn't related to its role as a correspondent bank for money laundering at Denmark's Danske Bank.

Frankfurt prosecutors' spokeswoman Nadja Niesen said the investigation was focused on two Deutsche Bank employees, aged 50 and 46, and possibly other not-yet identified suspects.

"We are cooperating fully with the authorities".

What do you think about Deutsche Bank's new scandal?

Deutsche Bank shares slid sharply after the news broke, and were down 3.75 percent in midday trading in Frankfurt.

In 2016 alone, more than 900 customers were served by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary registered on the British Virgin Islands, generating €300m, the prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have accused two of the bank's staff of helping to launder money obtained through criminal activity.

"The investigation has to do with the Panama Papers case", the bank said.

Prosecutors have reportedly said roughly 311 million euros ($354 million) is believed to have been laundered, citing information from the so-called Panama Papers.

Several banks, including the Swedish lenders Nordea and Handelsbanken have already been fined by financial regulators for violating money laundering rules as a result of the Panama Papers.

Deutsche Bank is in the throes of a major restructuring plan, with 7,000 jobs to go by the end of 2019.

Soon afterwards, the United States Federal Reserve ordered a further fine of $41 million over gaps in the bank's money laundering surveillance.

Christian Sewing was appointed as chief executive in April to help the bank to rebuild.

While Bloomberg notes that only the UK's Royal Bank of Scotland has paid out more in legal settlements than Deutsche Bank since 2008, various European institutions have sought to "bash" Bitcoin at the same time as being found guilty of financial crimes.

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