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Deutsche Bank headquarters raided in probe

Law enforcement officials raided Deutsche Bank’s headquarters early Tuesday on suspicions of tax fraud related to customer securities transactions, bank officials confirmed. “Today, offices of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt are being searched on behalf of the Wiesbaden Public Prosecutor’s Office. The search is related to an investigation into securities transactions by clients,” the bank said in a statement. “Employees of the Bank are not accused of wrongdoing.”635694371348976337-AP-GERMANY-DEUTSCHE-BANK-73658216

The bank, and at least three others in Germany, have come under suspicion for taking advantage of a tax loophole – now closed – in a practice known as “cum/ex” or “dividend-stripping.” It occurs when a stock is bought then sold, and then used to obtain a rebate on capital gains tax withholding that was actually never paid, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German business daily.

The raid on Germany’s largest bank, which also has operations in the United States, comes just two days after the company’s co-chief executive officers announced plans to resign amid growing questions over their leadership. Deutsche Bank, which boasts offices in Manhattan and Frankfurt, has been the target of multiple government probes in Europe and the U.S. amid concerns of currency manipulation, Russian money laundering, and other alleged misdeeds. Prosecutors confirmed Tuesday’s raid but not the companies involved nor the reason.

“We will only confirm that investigative action has taken place today. We as an investigative authority in principle do not confirm the names of companies or individuals being investigated. Therefore I can only confirm that we’re conducting an investigation, but I cannot disclose the name of any companies or the names of certain people. “I can confirm that investigative proceedings were carried out by office this morning in Frankfurt,”he said Germany has moved to crack down on tax evasion over the past few years, including signing a controversial agreement to share banking information with the U.S. known as FATCA and also purchasing illegally gotten CDs of bank information related to its nationals from Switzerland.