The shock raid by investigators has sent the German bank’s shares plummeting three percent. US-listed Deutsche Bank shares fell by nearly five percent. At least 170 police officers and financial crime investigators searched the bank’s offices in Frankfurt, Germany’s financial hub. Six separate offices were searched during the raid earlier today, with two Deutsche Bank staff members under the spotlight.
Written and electronic business documents were seized from Deutsche Bank and further investigations are ongoing, the prosecutor’s office also said.
Deutsche Bank confirmed the search of its offices and said it was fully cooperating with the authorities.
Deutsche Bank confirmed the raid in a statement and said the searches were linked to the Panama Papers – the raft of leaked financial documents relating to offshore accounts.
A spokesman said: “It is true that the police are currently investigating different locations of our bank in Germany. It’s about a case related to the Panama Papers.
“We will communicate as soon as we have more details. We will cooperate fully with the authorities.”
Frankfurt’s public prosecutor said data found in the Panama Papers had sparked the search over concerns the bank had links to offshore companies in tax havens.
The Panama Papers, which consist of millions of documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, were leaked to the media in April 2016.
Several Banks, including Swedish lenders Nordea and Handelsbanken have already been fined by financial regulators for violating money laundering rules as a result of the papers.
The prosecutors said they are looking at whether Deutsche Bank may have assisted clients to set up “Offshore-Companies” in tax havens so that funds transferred to accounts at Deutsche Bank could skirt anti-money laundering safeguards.
In 2016 alone, over 900 customers were served by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary registered on the British Virgin Islands, generating a volume of 311 million euros, the prosecutors said.
They also said Deutsche Bank employees are alleged to have breached their duties by neglecting to report money laundering suspicions about clients and offshore companies involved in tax evasion schemes.
The investigation is separate from another money laundering scandal surrounding Danish lender Danske Bank, where Deutsche Bank is involved.