Commerzbank execs face money laundering charge

Frankfurt prosecutors have filed charges against five men – four of whom are current or former Commerzbank executives – for their involvement in an alleged money laundering case with Russian connections more than a decade ago.

Commerzbank execs face money laundering charge
Photo: DPA

The authorities charge that the five, including a Danish lawyer, helped former Russian Telecommunications Minister Leonid Reiman to funnel at least $150 million (€113 million) in dirty money through Bermuda and Europe to Russia.

According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors believe Reiman held communications assets in offshore accounts and then sold them while trying to obscure their real owner.

The Journal reported that Reiman may have converted Russian state assets to foreign companies that he controlled. The prosecutors said the accused, aged between 48 and 61-years-old committed their crimes between 1995 and 2008, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported.

Reiman is said to be a personal friend of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. But he has been accused of wrongdoing before, including an accusation that he accepted a $1 million bribe in 1992. Prosecutors said a criminal investigation in the money laundering case remains ongoing against him.

Commerzbank did not immediately respond to the allegations or say whether any of the employees being charged are still employed.

The Local/mdm

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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.