SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

MUNICH - New details have emerged Friday of a vast police raid this week against Deutsche Bank in an ongoing tax evasion case. Some 500 state prosecutors, tax and crime investigators were involved in the Wednesday raids on Deutsche Bank offices in Frankfurt and branches in Berlin and Düsseldorf.

Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the bank is accused of destroying evidence relevant to tax evasion charges in connection with the trade of emissions certificates. The missing evidence – e-mails concerning the allegedly criminal activities – is a central reason given for the arrest of five bank employees.

Said to have been involved in the alleged cover-up are employees in the IT and legal departments including one senior legal figure. One of the bank’s money laundering experts was also arrested at the behest of Frankfurt prosecutors. He is thought to have neglected to report firms that investigators say tried to evade taxes to the tune of several hundred million euros in the trade with CO2 certificates.

Both the bank and accused individuals vehemently deny charges. After a first raid in 2010, Deutsche Bank promised the authorities its full cooperation and said it would turn over all documents relevant to the alleged criminal dealings with the certificates. However, two years on the Attorney General’s office and the Federal Criminal Police discovered that there were missing e-mails and asked for them to be delivered. Some of them were, but others had been deleted.

Sources close to the bank say there was no manipulation – just a few unintentional holes amounting to perhaps “a thousandth” of the mass of documentation concerning the trades.

Die Welt columnist Sebastian Jost notes that the scale of the investigation against the German banking powerhouse sends a clear message from authorities to the financial institutions that there will be no one spared in the pursuit of rooting out foul play.

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Ideas

How Facebook Knowingly Undermines The World's Largest Democracy

Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang says that the tech giant knowingly facilitates undermining democracy in India. Fair voting cannot be guaranteed if real people's voices are drowned out by armies of fake online commentators.

The Tek Fog app is allegedly used by online operatives to hijack social media

Sophie Zhang

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — Earlier this month, The Wire published an exposé on Tek Fog, an app allegedly used by India's ruling, right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make social engineering easier. The app is allegedly used by online operatives to hijack social media and amplify right-wing propaganda in the country.

The investigation immediately grabbed the attention of the Indian public. For the first time, everyday Indians were given insight into the inner workings of a major political party's Information Technology Cell (IT cell). Indians were forced to confront the possibility that their everyday reality was shaped not by the Indian public but the whims of shadowy political operatives.

They also discovered that their own ruling party would seek to phish their phones with spyware for the purpose of sending party-line propaganda impersonating them to friends and family. Such serious allegations more closely resemble an authoritarian dictatorship like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and their hired online commentators, the 50 Cent Army (五毛党), than the world’s largest democracy.

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