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Deutsche Bank’s German Offices Raided by Authorities

The raid was related to information found in the Panama Papers, which were published in 2016.

Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt offices were raided by German police and other authorities on Thursday morning in relation to information revealed in the Panama Papers, a trove of leaked documents published in 2016.  

The bank confirmed Thursday that its headquarters in Frankfurt, as well as a number of its other German offices, were searched.  

“As far as we are concerned, we have already provided the authorities with all the relevant information regarding Panama Papers,” the bank said in a a statement published Thursday. “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 raid comes in the aftermath of the publication of the so-called Panama Papers in 2016, a collection of 11.5 million leaked files from Mossack Fonseca, an offshore law firm. 

The papers showed that Deutsche Bank employees allegedly helped clients to found offshore companies in tax havens, which were allegedly used to launder money made from criminal activity, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which published the papers. 

The search included six Deutsche Bank properties and involved 170 government employees from the public prosecutor’s office, the police department, and the tax investigation department, according to a statement from the public prosecutor’s office.

The government is investigating two unnamed Deutsche Bank employees, ages 50 and 46, who were allegedly involved in money laundering, the public prosecutor’s statement said. The prosecutor’s office said that the investigation is still ongoing.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, Nadja Niesen, told the Associated Press that the office's analysis of the papers “gave rise to suspicion that Deutsche Bank was helping clients set up so-called offshore companies in tax havens and the proceeds of crimes were transferred there from Deutsche Bank accounts.”

Deutsche Bank maintains that it has done everything it can to work with authorities during the investigation. 

“In recent years, we have proven that we fully cooperate with the authorities — and we will continue to do so,” it said in the statement published Thursday.  

The raids are the latest setback in what has been a difficult year for the German bank. In March, Deutsche spun off its asset management division, DWS, in an IPO. The firm announced the following month that it would scale back its U.S. and Asian businesses and focus on its European clients. Those changes resulted in some layoffs at the firm.  

[II Deep Dive: Deutsche Bank to Scale Back U.S. Business, Lay Off Staff

The bank has also made a number of changes at the executive level. In April, the firm promoted Christian Sewing, formerly president of its private and commercial banks, to the role of chief executive officer, replacing John Cryan, who had served as the firm’s CEO since July 2015. At the same time, the firm appointed Garth Ritchie and Karl von Rohr as new presidents. 

A spokesperson from Deutsche Bank declined to comment further on the news.  

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