Franfurt: Frankfurt prosecutors obtained a list of more than 900 clients from Deutsche Bank in a tax evasion case commonly known as the Panama Papers, a key piece of evidence in an investigation that spurred a raid at the German lender’s headquarters in November.
The list contains the names of individuals and entities mostly located outside Germany, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. The raid by law enforcement officials focused on the role of a former Deutsche Bank wealth management entity in the British Virgin Islands.
Deutsche Bank and representatives for the prosecutor declined to comment.
The Panama Papers showed that Deutsche Bank employees may have helped customers set up off-shore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said at the time. Those companies were allegedly involved in tax evasion, they said, adding that 900 clients were allegedly served via the unit.
Prosecutors also seized extensive data on paper and electronically, the people familiar with the matter said.
The footage of rows of police cars parked in front of the bank’s two downtown Frankfurt towers in November fuelled concerns about potentially expensive legal risks and sent the share price to an all-time low.
Deutsche Bank chief executive officer Christian Sewing expressed surprise at the raid, saying in a newspaper interview that the bank had considered the case closed, having examined it in “close cooperation with supervising authorities” in 2016, when news about the Panama Papers first broke.
The head of Germany’s financial supervisor Bafin, Felix Hufeld, said a year ago that the German banks probed over the Panama Papers had “largely” complied with existing money-laundering rules.