Police Raid Deutsche Bank on Money Laundering Charges

A total of 170 officers from the Frankfurt public prosecutor's office were involved in the raid on Thursday

Deutche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters and five other offices faced dramatic police raids today amid major money laundering allegations.

A total of six properties were searched in Frankfurt, Eschborn and Gross-Umstadt, the public prosecutor said.

Two years ago, the release of the Panama Papers gave taxpayers around the world an unprecedented look at offshore tax havens.

The investigation revolves around multiple Deutsche Bank employees, including two believed to still be working at the financial institution.

Police cars stand in the backyard of Deutsche Bank headquarters during the raid in Frankfurt.

Without providing details about the inquiry, Deutsche Bank stated, "The investigation has to do with the Panama Papers case".

"... Most importantly, the lack of transparency and regulatory control have made cryptocurrencies a target for criminal purposes and we know that they on several occasions have been involved in criminal transactions like money laundering or extortion", it reads.

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. The revelations caused protests in several countries and led to the resignation of several heads of state, including in Iceland and Pakistan.

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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.

The Panama Papers refer to a collection of documents leaked in 2016 from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm that created shell companies to facilitate tax avoidance.

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

Howard Wilkinson, the man who blew the whistle on a massive money laundering scheme through the Estonian branch of Denmark's Danske Bank, speaks during a hearing at the Danish parliament building Christiansborg Castle on Monday Nov. 19.

Sources have told Reuters that Deutsche Bank helped process the majority of those payments.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News had reported that Deutsche was the unnamed bank a Danske whistleblower said had handled nearly $150 billion of suspect transactions originating in the Danish firm's Estonian branch.

In recent years, Deutsche Bank has been in the news not only for its prominence in the Panama Papers, but also for its ties to President Trump, in a tumultuous relationship that goes back some 20 years.

Deutsche Bank has spent more than $18 billion paying fines and settling legal disputes since the start of 2008, according to company disclosures compiled by Bloomberg News.

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