Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt HQ searched in Panama Papers probe

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

Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt HQ searched in Panama Papers probe

Citing prosecutors, Bloomberg added Deutsche "may have helped clients in setting up offshore companies in tax havens".

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.

Speaking about the latest investigation, a Deutsche Bank spokesman said: '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 bank is being investigated on money-laundering suspicions raised by a 2016 data leak.

They also said Deutsche Bank employees are alleged to have breached their duties by neglecting to report money laundering suspicions about clients and offshore companies involved in tax evasion schemes.

"Police officers and tax inspectors entered Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt early Thursday morning and seized documents", NPR's Esme Nicholson reports from Berlin.

In 2017, Deutsche already had to pay a fine of nearly $630 million after an investigation by British and American authorities into laundering of money originating in Russian Federation.

Deutsche Bank confirmed the raid in a statement and said the searches were linked to the Panama Papers - the raft of leaked financial documents relating to offshore accounts.

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The investigation is focused on a Deutsche Bank unit based on the British Virgin Islands, which dealt with more than 900 clients and processed 311 million euros ($354 million) in 2016 alone, according to the prosecutors.

A Deutsche Bank executive director has said the lender played only a secondary role as a so-called correspondent bank to Danske Bank.

The revelations reportedly began with the 2016 Panama Papers, which detailed the then-secret, shady money dealings of global financiers.

Deutsche Bank has been sanctioned in the past for failing to tackle money laundering. "We are cooperating fully with the authorities", it said. Sylvie Matherat, a management board member who serves as the bank's chief regulatory officer, and Tom Patrick, who runs operations in the Americas, are among executives who might ultimately leave, people familiar with the matter said this week.

Some of the money reportedly went through Deutsche Bank and ended up in major capitals like London, according to The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

A number of banks including Swedish lenders Nordea and Handelsbanken have already been fined by financial regulators for violating money laundering rules as a result of the papers.

The bank has been scrutinized for alleged money laundering for years now.

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