German authorities searched six offices of Deutsche Bank, including its headquarters, in Frankfurt on Thursday in a money laundering investigation, reported Reuters.
The investigation was triggered by the Panama Papers, a trove of millions of documents leaked in 2016 from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca which revealed the hidden offshore wealth of some of the world’s top leaders and celebrities.
Investigators are looking into the activities of two Deutsche Bank staff members who allegedly helped clients set up offshore firms to launder money, the office of the German prosecutor said. Prosecutors said the bank is suspected of helping nearly 900 customers set up offshore shell companies to “transfer money from criminal activities”, DW reported.
Deutsche Bank confirmed that authorities searched its offices and said it was fully cooperating with the investigation, BBC reported. The bank’s shares fell around 3% after news of the raids emerged.
Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank was found to be involved in money laundering at Danske Bank which is headquartered in Copenhagen. An internal inquiry by the Danish bank showed that payments of around 200 billion euros (Rs 15.8 lakh crore) were funnelled through its Estonian branch, according to BBC.
Other European banks such as Sweden’s Nordea and Germany’s Handelsbanken have also been fined on the basis of the Panama Papers.