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Deutsche Bank Gets Raided After Calling Bitcoin a Risk for Criminal Activity

30 November, 2018, 10:02 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Germany's public prosecutor alleged that two staff members have helped clients launder money from criminal activities

About 170 police officers, investigators and prosecutors swooped in on the bank's offices in Frankfurt and premises in nearby Eschborn and Gross-Umstadt at 10 a.m., seizing electronic and paper records.

It's been a tough few weeks for Deutsche after reports that its head of the Americas, Tom Patrick, would leave the bank by year-end alongside a raft of other senior management changes. Police cars were parked outside the headquarters of the bank, Germany's biggest lender. The "Panama Papers" data leak comprised some 11.5 million documents and was leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source in 2015.

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

Prosecutors said a probe into the Panama Papers, files from the law firm Mossack Fonseca that were leaked online, showed Deutsche may have helped clients set up off-shore accounts in tax havens to launder criminal proceedings.

It is believed the probe involves the so-called Panama Papers, leaked documents pertaining to over 200,000 offshore dealings.

Deutsche Bank retains an office in the Cayman Islands, which employs around 30 people, but there is no indication at this point that this investigation has any connection to those offices.

TRT World's Ira Spitzer has more details from Berlin.

The prosecutors said they are 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 skirt anti-money laundering safeguards.

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In September, Germany's financial regulator ordered the bank to take further action to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

British banking authorities said at least 29 Deutsche Bank employees were involved in the scam, while U.S. regulators ordered the bank to fire seven employees, including directors and vice-presidents.

"Just when you thought Deutsche Bank had left its legal troubles behind it, there's more", said Markus Riesselmann, an analyst at Independent Research who recommends investors sell Deutsche Bank shares.

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

Money laundering has become a growing problem in Europe, where a series of scandals has exposed lax regulation.

US and British regulators fined the bank $630 million previous year for allowing wealthy Russians to launder $10 billion in cash between 2012 and 2015.

Deutsche Bank has been under pressure after annual losses, and it agreed to pay a $7.2 billion settlement with USA authorities a year ago over its sale of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

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