Deutsche Bank headquarters raided by police in money laundering probe

FRANKFURT — Deutsche Bank’s head office and other locations in Frankfurt were raided by 170 police officers and tax investigators on Thursday as part of a money laundering probe.

Prosecutors said the raids targeted two Deutsche Bank employees, as well as others who have not yet been identified.

The German bank is suspected of helping clients to set up offshore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said in a statement. Investigators are also looking at whether Deutsche Bank failed to report suspicious transactions.

Both the lender and prosecutors said the probe is related to the Panama Papers, a 2016 investigation into money laundering networks and shell companies set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Frankfurt prosecutors said that a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank in the British Virgin Islands had served more than 900 customers, doing €311 million ($353 million) worth of business in 2016 alone.

Deutsche Bank said it was cooperating with the authorities and would release more details in due course.

The investigation is yet another headache for Deutsche Bank, which has struggled in recent years to turn a profit amid questions about its business strategy and direction, and the heavy financial burden of past misconduct.

Shares in Deutsche Bank (DB) slumped more than 3% on Thursday.

Christian Sewing, a retail banking veteran who took over as CEO in April, has tried to accelerate an overhaul under which Deutsche Bank has closed hundreds of branches, cut thousands of jobs and aggressively slashed costs.