May 15, 2019 / 1:32 PM / 3 months ago

Germany searches banks and homes in nationwide tax evasion raid

FRANKFURT, May 15 (Reuters) - Frankfurt public prosecutors said they led a nationwide raid on eight homes and 11 banks on Wednesday as part of an investigation into wealthy individuals suspected of tax evasion.

The action was a follow-up on a police raid last November of Deutsche Bank over money laundering allegations linked to the “Panama Papers”.

The eight people in the crosshairs of the authorities are said to have founded companies in tax havens with the help of a former subsidiary of Deutsche Bank in the British Virgin Islands to hide capital gains from the German tax authorities and to evade taxes.

The investigations are not directed at Deutsche Bank, but at private individuals, Deutsche Bank said in a statement on Wednesday. The bank was cooperating, and its offices were not searched, the lender added.

Wednesday’s raid, which was continuing into the afternoon, involved police and tax authorities in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Duesseldorf.

The search included offices of four tax advisers in Hamburg, Munich and elsewhere, as well as six asset management companies in Hamburg. (Reporting by Andreas Framke Writing by Tom Sims Editing by Michelle Martin)

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