Just before 9 a.m. on Nov. 29, German officials raided Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt on suspicion of money laundering. Two employees in particular are the focus of the investigation, and they are allegedly have not reported transactions in excess of 311 million euros or $350 million. A 5 percent fall in the bank’s stock price followed the announcement of the raid.
Deutsche Bank “may have helped clients in setting up offshore companies in tax havens,” Prosecutors say. The bank’s activity has been dated back to the release of the Panama Papers, 11.5 million documents detailing financial and legal information for over 200,000 offshore accounts.
Officials have seized electronic and physical documents in the raid and evidence indicates suspicious behavior.
Deutsche Bank says it is fully with the authorities.
The irony in the situation lies in past statements from Deutsche Bank, calling for regulation on cryptocurrencies with suspicions of money laundering.
“Governments and regulators should thoroughly look into this to ensure that cryptocurrencies have the same financial crime protection rules as traditional payment solutions,” said Philippe Vollot, global head of the DB’s department against financial crime.
It’s worth noting that there was no sign of cryptocurrency transactions being made by Deutsche Bank in the seized documents.
We at Crypto.IQ think that the notion that Bitcoin is used exclusively or even fractionally for money laundering is absurd. The transparency and traceability of Bitcoin transactions makes it a poor way to launder money. The evidence for money laundering using Bitcoin shows that less than 1 percent of transactions fulfill this purpose.
Deutsche Bank however, has spent over $18 billion in legal fees and fines over the past 10 years. Involved and connected to many scandals, the fees alone are far more than the dollar value of Bitcoin used in illicit activity.
This raid shows that banks knowingly and willingly launder money with fiat currencies and they have for decades if not longer. Not to get too biblical in crypto, but the banks ought to look for the log in their own eye before pointing out the speck in Bitcoin’s.