German Treasury attacks in money laundering investigation


Berlin-German prosecutors attacked the Treasury and Justice Ministry on Thursday as part of an investigation into the possibility of judicial obstruction by the government’s money laundering prevention agency.

A survey of the Financial Intelligence Unit, a Treasury agency under Olaf Scholz, a candidate for SPD’s prime minister, is investigating whether the department was unable to respond to warnings from banks with potential money laundering.

The assault comes at a crucial moment for Scholz, whose polls suggest he is likely to become the German Chancellor in the September 26 national elections.

The FIU, along with Bafin, a division of both the German Treasury Regulatory Authority and the Treasury, has previously been criticized for failing to detect the problem with Wirecard, the settlement company that collapsed in the country’s largest post-war fraud scandal.

A spokesman for the prosecutor said the investigation began after the FIU received complaints that it did not deal with a suspicious transaction of millions of euros, including Africa, between 2018 and 2020.

He said he searched ministries to see if authorities were told to ignore the suspicious flow of funds.

Prosecutors said the FIU paid attention to the report but did not transfer it to law enforcement agencies, and authorities warned banks about concerns that money was associated with arms and drug trafficking and terrorist financing. He said he received it.

The prosecution also said it was investigating the fact that reports of suspicious activity were significantly reduced as the FIU took over control of money laundering in 2017.

They said FIU’s previous investigation revealed that there was widespread communication with the ministries investigated on Thursday.

The Treasury supported the investigation in a statement, stating that the allegations were not directed at its employees.

($ 1 = 0.8453 euros)