Deutsche Bank traders targeted in VAT probe
Seven traders at Deutsche Bank are under investigation in a far-reaching probe into value-added tax (VAT) fraud in the carbon market, a spokesman confirmed on Thursday.
German prosecutors announced on Wednesday it had raided 50 premises across the country in a swoop to catch VAT fraudsters (see EDCM 28 April 2010).
Deutsche Bank initially only said that some of its customers had been targeted in the probe, but admitted on Thursday that seven staff from its own trading floor were also involved.
The spokesman added that Deutsche Bank thought the suspicions against its traders could be disproved.
Two small companies have now been suspended from greenmarket, the spot platform backed by Deutsche Bank and operated by the Bayerische Börse, a German stock exchange.
Deutsche Bank clears and settles transactions done on greenmarket, which had 28 members according to a list updated on its website on 20 April (see EDCM 6 August 2009).
A greenmarket spokesman said two members had been suspended from trading following the probe.
The bourse's official bulletin named the members as Nexis Solar Technologies and Roter Stern. The greenmarket spokesman said both companies were small and accounted for limited volumes on the exchange.
Nexis Solar Technologies was unavailable for comment on Thursday. A receptionist, who also works for other companies in the same building, said nobody had been in the office during the day. Roter Stern does not list a contact number on its website.
greenmarket is not planning to change its rule book after the suspension, but is planning to appoint a central counter party in July this year, the spokesman said. This counterparty should be unveiled shortly, maybe even within a few days, he added. This decision was taken a while back and not immediately related to the probe.
The German tax police also visited RWE Supply & Trading offices, a company spokesman confirmed. He said that RWE Supply & Trading itself had not been charged with VAT fraud and that the investigation had centred on some of its potential business partners.
"Based on a preliminary analysis, RWE Supply & Trading had a business relationship with one of the accused companies in 2009," he added in an e-mailed statement. "At that time, no circumstances were known to RWE Supply & Trading that would have justified a rejection of the company as a counterparty." IS
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