German Prosecutors Reportedly Raid Finance and Justice Ministries Amid Money-Laundering Probe

© AP Photo / KAI PFAFFENBACHGerman Police (File)
German Police (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.09.2021
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BERLIN (Sputnik) - German prosecutors raided the finance and justice ministries in Berlin on Thursday morning on suspicion that a customs authority unit withheld potential money-laundering reports, media said.
The raid is part of a 2020 probe into the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), a former police force that was transferred to the finance ministry's customs agency in 2017, according to Spiegel magazine.
The Osnabruck prosecutor’s office is looking for leads on those responsible for possibly failing to pass reports on suspected money laundering on to criminal authorities.
The Spiegel said prosecutors from the state of Lower Saxony were tipped off to the FIU's failure to forward a bank report on a suspicious transfer of a million euros to Africa in 2018.
FUI is said to have failed to report payments of millions of euros. The number of such reports dropped to a "fraction" of their pre-2017 count after the unit joined the finance ministry.
© Sputnik / Алексей Агарышев / Go to the photo bankGerman Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. File photo.
German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.09.2021
German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. File photo.
The raids come slightly more than two weeks ahead of a federal election. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is pulling ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel's would-be successor Armin Laschet in the race for Germany's top job.
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