'Police in Germany have raided the offices of Deutsche Bank in connection with the Panama Papers revelations and as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering.
About 170 police officers, prosecutors and tax inspectors searched six Deutsche Bank offices in and around Frankfurt, the public prosecutor’s office said. Investigators are looking into the activities of two Deutsche Bank employees who allegedly helped clients to set up offshore companies to launder money, it added.
The Panama Papers, published by the Guardian and a consortium of international journalists in April 2016, revealed how offshore tax havens including the British Virgin Islands were used to hide billions of dollars.
The prosecutor’s office said it had seized written and electronic business documents. Police cars were parked outside the headquarters of the bank, Germany’s biggest lender.
In a statement Deutsche Bank said it would “cooperate closely with prosecutors”, adding that it was “anxious to clarify all suspicions”. The bank said it believed it had previously handed over to the authorities all relevant information in the Panama Papers case.
Records from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were the basis of the Panama Papers investigation and included more than 10m documents. The revelations caused protests in several countries and led to the resignation of heads of state, including in Iceland and Pakistan.
Deutsche Bank’s Geneva branch held accounts for two offshore companies belonging to the family of Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The firms owned four luxury flats in Mayfair, which were at the centre of corruption charges against the Sharifs. In July Pakistan’s anti-graft court sentenced Sharif to 10 years in jail, and his daughter Maryam to seven years. The Sharif family denies wrongdoing and maintains that a Qatari prince gifted the property to Nawaz’s children to repay an old debt. In September Nawaz and Maryam were released pending an appeal.'
Read more: Deutsche Bank offices raided in connection with Panama Papers
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22 March 2019
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