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CRIME

LBBW bank raided for suspected fraud

Investigators in the southwestern city of Stuttgart on Monday raided the headquarters of regional bank LBBW to probe alleged fraud by several of its directors, the prosecutor's office said.

LBBW bank raided for suspected fraud
Photo: DPA

A total of 240 investigators and representatives from the office were tasked with retrieving documents that would back up suspicions against seven former and current members of the bank’s management board.

The investigation included several private homes, and has already recovered a considerable amount of documents, the prosecutor’s office said.

It focused on several hundred million euros in 2006 investments in the US subprime market for high-risk mortgages.

A prosecutor’s spokeswoman said bank directors were suspected of continuing to invest in risky financial instruments even after it became clear the market was about to collapse.

In mid 2007, that triggered a global financial crisis which subsequently worsened following the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

Along with many other regional German banks, LBBW had invested heavily in risky assets and complex financial instruments which lost much of their value during the financial crisis. With the global economic slowdown, LBBW has also had to sharply increase its provisions against loan defaults by clients, while booking heavy restructuring costs.

In exchange for a state bailout, the bank has had to drastically curb its operations and now concentrates on financing small- and medium-sized German enterprises.

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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