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CRIME

Emissions trading tax evasion sparks huge raid

Police staged hundreds of raids on businesses across Germany on Wednesday – including the Deutsche Bank headquarters – on suspicion of tax evasion worth up to €180 million connected to emissions trading.

Emissions trading tax evasion sparks huge raid
Photo: DPA

Starting early in the morning about 1,000 officers searched more than 230 offices and apartments from 50 companies, the public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt said.

A spokesperson from Deutsche Bank confirmed that a large-scale operation also took place at the company’s high-rise headquarters in Frankfurt.

About 150 people are suspected of using emissions trading – a programme intended to cut down on greenhouse gas pollution – to cover up what Frankfurt authorities called “sales tax carousel.”

The process likely involved the purchase of foreign emissions credits by German companies, which then sold them again to a series of connected companies, none of them paying sales taxes. The last company in the chain then sold the certificates abroad again, receiving tax credits from German authorities after the sale.

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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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