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CRIME

Commerzbank fined £595,000 in Britain

British financial regulators said on Tuesday they had fined the London branch of German bank Commerzbank £595,000 for repeatedly failing to provide accurate transaction reports.

Commerzbank fined £595,000 in Britain

“For two years Commerzbank either failed to report or reported inaccurately almost all of its reportable transactions,” the Financial Services Authority said in a statement.

These breaches took place despite “repeated reminders” to firms of their reporting obligations to the FSA and “specific requests to Commerzbank for the firm to check its data,” it said.

The fine, worth €686,000 or $912,000, was reduced by 30 percent because Commerzbank cooperated fully with the investigation, the FSA said, adding that the penalty would otherwise have been £850,000.

The German bank said in a brief statement: “Commerzbank has fully cooperated with the FSA and is deeply committed to meeting its regulatory obligations.”

The FSA noted that it was the fifth time since August 2009 that it imposed a fine against a company for failing to provide accurate transaction reports. The agency uses the data to detect and investigate suspected market abuse such as insider trading and market manipulation.

The Labour government created the FSA in 1997 and wants to increase its powers. The Conservative opposition has vowed to eliminate the agency and hand its powers to the Bank of England if they win May 6 general elections.

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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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