German police raided on Friday in frankfurt the headquarters of the main German bank, Deutsche Bank, in a money laundering investigation that according to the Handelsblatt newspaper could be linked to the family of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Officials of the Federal Criminal Police (B.K.A.), the BaFin (financial supervisor) and the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office participate” in the raid, the German Prosecutor’s Office indicated.
The operation “is related to reports on suspected money laundering,” he said. Deutsche Bankadding that he “fully cooperates with the authorities.”
In cases of this type, the authorities try to find out if the bank reports were transmitted within due time.
The suspicions refer to transactions that the former Syrian vice president would have carried out “a few years ago”. Rifaat al-Assadan uncle of President Bashar, according to people familiar with the dossier quoted by the German business daily Handelsblatt.
Although Rifaat al-Assad was not a client of Deutsche Bank, this institution could have served to distribute money to members of his family through technical agreements with other banksexplains the newspaper.
The BaFin He refused to comment on the motivations for the search. In 2021, the supervisor had urged the banking institution to strengthen its fight against money laundering.
The headquarters of Deutsche Bank was raided in 2019 for submitting reports considered insufficient on suspected money laundering related to the Danish bank Danske Bank. This group was at the center of a laundering scheme of some 20,000 million euros between 2007 and 2015, through its subsidiary in Estonia.
Deutsche Bank later reached an agreement to pay 13.5 billion euros for delays in delivering those reports.