Search of Deutsche Bank offices continues in German probe

Police search offices of Deutsche Bank board members

Police raided six Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt on Thursday over money laundering allegations linked to the "Panama Papers", the public prosecutor's office in Germany's financial capital said.

German authorities are continuing to search offices of Deutsche Bank as part of an investigation into suspicion that some employees helped set up offshore companies that were used to launder hundreds of millions of euros.

Some 170 police officers and investigators from the Frankfurt prosecutors office searched the bank's headquarters as well as four other offices and one private home.

"We will of course continue to actively support the investigation and work constructively with the authorities", Karl von Rohr, Deutsche's co-deputy chief executive officer, said in a statement on Friday evening.

The Panama Papers scandal that erupted in 2016 with a massive data leak from Panamaian legal firm Mossack Fonseca exposed large-scale tax evasion, laying bare how the world's wealthy and powerful stashed their assets in offshore businesses.

Deutsche Bank's hard week continued Friday with prosecutors raiding the lender's offices in Frankfurt, Germany, for a second straight day.

Germany's public prosecutors began investigating the bank in August, the news outlet detailed, adding that they are looking into the activities of two unnamed Deutsche Bank employees, particularly from 2013 through to 2018.

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The bank's list of problems grew further last week when Deutsche Bank's role in Danske Bank's money-laundering scandal came to light.

Christian Sewing, appointed chief executive in April to help the bank rebuild, has trimmed its US operations and reshuffled its management board, but revenue has continued to slip.

Deutsche Bank's tweet confirming the investigation. "The case is related to the Panama Papers", a spokesperson said.

In September, however, BaFin ordered KPMG to conduct a third-party assessment at Deutsche Bank after criticizing the bank's money laundering and anti-terrorist financing procedures.

Stock losses at Deutsche Bank were also mirrored by declining stock prices at DB "correspondent bank" Danske Bank following news of the raid. At least 28 German entities were identified in the leak, according to reports at the time, including Deutsche Bank.

Danske Bank, Denmark's largest, is under investigation now for laundering €200 billion of "non-resident money", much of it from Russian Federation, between 2007 and 2015, according to Bloomberg. The market capitalization of the once mighty bank is now about $19 billion, not a significant amount more than the bank has had to pay in fines since the financial crisis.


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