Deutsche Bank investigated over money laundering

The headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt have been raided by prosecutors in a money laundering investigation connected to information gleaned as a result of the Panama Papers leaks

Prosecutors said they were looking at whether the bank may have helped clients to set up offshore companies in tax havens, so that funds transferred to accounts at Deutsche Bank could get round 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.

About 170 police officers, prosecutors and tax inspectors searched six Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt, the public prosecutor’s office said. The investigation, which began in August, focuses on activities between 2013 and the start of 2018.

In a statement Deutsche Bank said it would ‘cooperate closely with prosecutors’, adding that it was ‘anxious to clarify all suspicions’. The bank’s share price fell on news of the raids.

Records from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were the basis of the Panama Papers investigation and included more than 10m documents detailing a complex web of offshore companies in tax havens used by high net worth individuals and others to move money around.

Report by Pat Sweet

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