Nearly 200 police officers searched the head office of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt this morning as part of wide-ranging money laundering investigation. Five other sites this connected to the bank were also searched.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt accused two individuals and “unidentified people in positions of authority” of failing to report a possible money laundering transactions worth €311 million.
The transactions are believed to be linked to companies named in the Panama Papers.
Prosecutors believe the money came through the bank and into accounts of organisations based in the British Virgin Islands in spring 2016. They claim the Panama Papers suggest “that Deutsche Bank helped customers found offshore organisations in tax havens by transferring illegally acquired money without alerting authorities to suspected money laundering.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, the bank said: As far as we are concerned, we have already provided the authorities with all the relevant information regarding Panama Papers. Of course, we will cooperate closely with the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt, as it is in our interest as well to clarify the facts.
The bank has struggled to recover ever since 2008’s financial crash, which have lead to years of losses and is expected to lead to more than 7,000 jobs by the end of 2019.
Earlier this year, the Bank’s American arm failed the US’ Federal Reserve stress test, which concluded the bank has “material weaknesses” in its operations.
In September, the bank was ordered by German regulators to tighten its controls in order to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.