Deutsche Bank headquarters raided over money laundering

Donald Trump Deutsche Bank

German authorities have searched Deutsche Bank offices as part of an investigation into money laundering allegations triggered by Panama Papers and Offshore Leaks disclosures.

Some 170 police officers and investigators from the prosecutor's office were searching for six of the bank's premises in and around the city.

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

The Papers revealed the financial secrets of the world's financial and criminal elite, detailing years of tax avoidance and money laundering in the hundreds of millions - including millions of pounds from the Queen's private estate.

Prosecutors are now examining whether bank employees helped clients set up offshore companies in tax havens in order to launder money between 2013 and 2018.

In 2016 alone, more than 900 customers are alleged to have transferred some 311m euros to one such company set up in the British Virgin Islands, she said.

In an emailed statement, Deutsche Bank confirmed that police are investigating at several German locations in relation to Panama Papers, and said it is fully cooperating with authorities.

Among recent cases were the Netherlands' Rabobank and Denmark's Danske Bank, the latter infamously laundering more funds than cryptocurrency's entire market cap.

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In 2017, Deutsche Bank was fined a total of $630 million (€553.5 million) by USA and United Kingdom financial authorities over accusations of having laundered money out of Russian Federation.

Deutsche Bank shares were down more than 3 per cent by midday on Thursday and have lost nearly half their value this year.

It is separate from another money laundering scandal surrounding Danske Bank, where Deutsche Bank is involved.

The Panama Papers, published by the Guardian and a consortium of global journalists in April 2016, revealed how offshore tax havens including the British Virgin Islands were used to hide billions of dollars.

And it's not the first time Deutsche Bank has run into trouble over the flow of dirty money.

And in 2017, the bank was fined almost $700 million for allowing money laundering.

In September, Germany's financial watchdog - BaFin - ordered Deutsche Bank to do more to prevent money laundering and 'terrorist financing, ' and appointed KPMG as third party to assess progress. Whistleblower and former employee Howard Wilkinson has indicated that Danske Bank's management was aware of what was going on at the branch, which was among the bank's most profitable units. This year, the bank saw its credit rating downgraded, its CEO ousted and its stock price hit a record low.

He believes the bank will now be paralysed for months until it becomes clear how it will be affected by new potential fines.

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