German tax investigators have raided 11 banks, six asset management companies and four tax consultancy firms in connection with eight wealthy individuals in suspected of tax evasion.
The raids, which are linked to the Panama Papers scandal, began at dawn on 16 May and went on into the afternoon.
The authorities searched the homes of eight people in the towns of Bad Tölz, Erkrath, Hamburg, Konz, Simmerath, and Sylt.
Frankfurt state prosecutors in a statement said the wealthy Germans allegedly used tax havens to hide capital gains from the Germany treasury and evade taxes.
The eight individuals are known to have once been clients of a former Deutsche Bank offshore unit based in the British Virgin Islands.
“The purpose of the search warrants is to gather evidence about untaxed income and to learn about the economic activity of the companies in tax havens,” the statement added.
The names of the businesses and individuals involved were not revealed by the prosecutors.
Panama Papers was a data leak of 11.5 million tax documents from Mossack Fonseca in April 2016, which revealed the secret dealings of affluent individuals as well as heads of state such as Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The German tax authorities raided local offices of Deutsche Bank over money laundering suspicions in November last year.
The offices searched included the bank’s headquarters at Taunusanlage in Frankfurt. Authorities seized various business documents during the process.
In its statement on the current tax raids across Germany, Deutsche Bank said: “The investigations are not directed against Deutsche Bank. The public prosecutor’s office is investigating private individuals.
“Deutsche Bank cooperates with the public prosecutor’s office and voluntarily submits all requested documents. A search of the bank’s business premises has therefore not taken place,” the statement read.