Police staged hundreds of raids on businesses across Germany on Wednesday including the Deutsche Bank headquarters on suspicion of tax evasion worth up to 180 million connected to emissions trading.
Starting early in the morning about 1,000 officers searched more than 230 offices and apartments from 50 companies, the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt said. A spokesperson from Deutsche Bank confirmed that a large-scale operation also took place at the company’s high-rise headquarters in Frankfurt. About 150 people are suspected of using emissions trading a program intended to cut down on greenhouse gas pollution to cover up what Frankfurt authorities called sales tax carousel.
The process likely involved the purchase of foreign emissions credits by German companies, which then sold them again to a series of connected companies, none of them paying sales taxes. The last company in the chain then sold the certificates abroad again, receiving tax credits from German authorities after the sale.