Investigating the investigators
German prosecutors raided the country’s finance and justice ministries on Sept. 9 as part of an investigation into whether officials told the Financial Intelligence Unit to ignore alerts from banks about suspect transactions of millions of euros to Africa
between 2018 and 2020.
The move was particularly significant because Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who oversees the anti-money laundering agency, heads the SDP party that won the biggest share of votes in the country’s Sept. 26 election.
According to Reuters, the probe comes as the finance ministry is facing scrutiny for its failure to detect wrongdoing at financial services company Wirecard, which imploded last year in Germany’s biggest-ever corporate fraud. The Financial Action Task
Force is reviewing Germany’s anti-money laundering efforts. (See “German finance ministry raided in money laundering probe,” by Hans Seidenstuecker and John O’Donnell, Reuters, Sept. 9, 2021.)
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