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CRIME

HypoVereinsbank raided by police for tax fraud

German prosecutors and tax police have raided the offices of HypoVereinsbank, the German arm of Italian bank UniCredit, on suspicion of tax fraud, the bank and prosecutors said on Thursday.

HypoVereinsbank raided by police for tax fraud
Photo: DPA

“The offices of UniCredit Bank AG (HypoVereinsbank) in Munich were searched yesterday (Wednesday) on the orders of the public prosecutors in Frankfurt, who are investigating suspicions of tax evasion,” the bank said in a statement.

A spokesman for prosecutors told AFP the raids were carried out by 60-70 officers at 13 different premises, both business and private, around the country. He declined to reveal any further details.

HypoVereinsbank explained that the tax authorities were questioning the award of capital gains tax credits in connection with share transactions carried out between 2006 and 2008 shortly before annual dividend payments were due.

The bank insisted it is cooperating with the authorities and keen to clear up the allegations.

A report in the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung put the estimated loss to the tax authorities at €124 million ($161 million).

HypoVereinsbank is Germany’s sixth-biggest bank and was acquired by UniCredit at the end of 2005.

AFP/mry

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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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