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Germany

Massive Raid On Deutsche Bank, Accused Of Destroying Evidence

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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Geopolitics

It's A Golden Era For Russia-Turkey Relations — Just Look At The Numbers

On the diplomatic and political level, no world leader speaks more regularly with Vladimir Putin than his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But the growing closeness of Russia and Turkey can also be measured in the economic data. And the 2022 numbers are stunning.

Photo of Erdogan and Putin walking out of a door

Erdogan and Putin last summer in Sochi, Russia

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via ZUMA
Aytug Özçolak

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — As Russia has become increasingly isolated since the invasion of Ukraine, the virtual pariah state has drawn notably closer to one of its remaining partners: Turkey.

Ankara has committed billions of dollars to buy the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, and contracted to Russia to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant. The countries’ foreign policies are also becoming increasingly aligned.

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But the depth of this relationship goes much further. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin more than any other leader: 16 times in 2022, and 11 times in 2021. Erdoğan has visited Russia 14 times since 2016, compared to his 10 visits to the U.S. in the same time period (half of which were in 2016 and 2017).

But no less important is the way the two countries are increasingly tied together by commerce.

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