Investigators in Germany launched a tax raid operation at 15 locations throughout the country on Wednesday on the back of findings from the Panama Papers, which detailed offshore tax evasion schemes back in 2016.
Prosecutors in Frankfurt said the raids targeted residential properties of eight wealthy individuals and 11 banks, as well as the commercial spaces of four tax advisers.
The judiciary and tax authorities suspect the private individuals of setting up offshore shell companies through a former Deutsche Bank subsidiary and evading tax.
Deutsche Bank said private individuals and not the bank itself are the subject of investigations, and that they are cooperating fully with prosecutors.
Though a search of Deutsche Bank’s own offices was not part of Wednesday’s action, authorities said the investigation was in part related to a public raid of Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt headquarters in November over money laundering allegations.
Two Deutsche Bank employees were under suspicion in those raids of aiding tax evasion by setting up offshore companies for clients. Prosecutors in Frankfurt said an investigation into them is ongoing and running separate to Wednesday’s nationwide action.