FRANKFURT — The authorities in Germany raided homes and banks around the country on Wednesday in a tax evasion investigation that originated with Deutsche Bank but has widened to involve other lenders.
The raids targeted 11 financial offices in Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and other cities, prosecutors said. They did not name the banks, but said that some were local public-sector savings banks known as sparkassen, indicating that Deutsche Bank is not the only institution involved.
Deutsche Bank, which was raided by German police in November for possible links to tax evasion, said its offices had not been searched on Wednesday. “The investigations are not directed against Deutsche Bank,” it said in a statement. “Deutsche Bank cooperates with the public prosecutor’s office and voluntarily submits all requested documents.”
The raids on Wednesday focused on eight individuals and included searches of four tax advisers and six asset management companies, prosecutors said in a statement. The individuals are suspected of concealing capital gains from the German tax authorities using companies in offshore havens and with the help of a “major German bank in the British Virgin Islands.”
Both Wednesday’s raid and the earlier raid of Deutsche Bank came after media reports, including the Panama Papers and Offshore Leaks, by the nonprofit International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
In November, prosecutors, federal agents, police officers and tax authorities searched Deutsche Bank headquarters and five other sites, a raid that was seen as a setback to the bank as it was restructuring. Investigators then were examining whether Deutsche Bank employees were guiding customers to establish companies in offshore