Prosecutors in Germany raided the country’s finance and justice ministries earlier today (Thursday) as part of an investigation into possible government obstruction of justice. money laundering.
Investigation into the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), a department of the Treasury headed by the Social Democrat (SPD) candidate for chancellor Olaf Solts, examines whether the service acted properly, following bank warnings about possible money laundering.
The raids come at a crucial time for Soltz, who, according to opinion polls, has a good chance of becoming Germany’s chancellor. elections of September 26, broadcasts the APE BPE.
The FIU, together with the Bafin regulator, both under the Ministry of Finance, have criticized in the past because they failed to identify problems with the payment company Wirecard, which collapsed in the country’s biggest post-war corruption scandal.
A spokesman for prosecutors said the investigation was launched after receiving complaints that the FIU had not acted suspicious transactions worth millions of euros, some of which relate to payments in Africa between 2018-2020.
The spokesman also said that investigations were carried out at the ministries in order to verify whether the service had received a mandate. to ignore suspicious cash flows.
Prosecutors said the agency received alerts from banks due to concerns that the money was related to arms smuggling and drugs as well as with terrorist financing.
They also said they were considering the fact that after the FIU took control of money laundering in 2017, reports of suspicious activity decreased dramatically.
As they pointed out, previous investigations at the FIU had revealed that it existed extensive communication with the ministries investigated today.
In a statement, the Ministry of Finance noted, however, that supports the investigation of the prosecutors noting that the suspicions not directed against ministry officials.
Solz downgrades the “raid” on his ministry
For his part, German Finance Minister Olaf Solz said prosecutors who raided his ministry as part of an investigation into the government’s anti-money laundering service had raised clear questions that “could have been put in writing».
“Let the people judge whether it was right to ask (the questions) in a different way“Soltz told reporters at a polling station in Potsdam, near Berlin,” Reuters reported.
Solz, the Social Democrats’ candidate in this month’s parliamentary elections, said strengthened the staff of the service it oversees and has been investigated for alleged law enforcement loopholes.