Deutsche Bank faces money-laundering probe over Taib ties

On the grounds of its business relations with the Malaysian Taib family, Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), in its capacity as the supervisory authority for “financial institutions in regard to money laundering legislation”, has opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank. In response to an inquiry by Bruno Manser Fonds, the German Federal Ministry of Finance confirmed this.

Using an e-mail from the Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, he informs the Bruno Manser Fund that the Federal Ministry of Finance has requested that the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority clarify and check the money-laundering situation you outlined in your letter to the Federal Chancellor.

The Financial Supervisory Authority may impose supervisory measures if it considers them appropriate in relation to a specific financial institution.” The Financial Supervisory Authority has already begun clarifying the situation.”

A freeze on Taib assets in Germany is being called by the Bruno Manser Fund in response to the investigation. Moreover, the Fund demands that Deutsche Bank provide complete transparency with regard to its dealings with the Taib family and terminate its business relationship with the Malaysian potentate, who has a bad reputation.

After drawing the German government’s attention to the close business relations of Deutsche Bank with the Malaysian potentate Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), the Bruno Manser Fond, Hamburg “Rettet den Regenwald” (Rainforest-Rescue) Association, and Society for Threatened Peoples requested a blockade of Taib assets in Germany.”).

Joint ventures between Deutsche Bank and the Taib family

Since 2004, Deutsche Bank has been involved in several hundred million euros worth of transactions for Sarawak through a joint venture with the Taib family-controlled cahya mata Sarawak company (CMS).

In addition to holding majority shares in K & N Kenanga Holdings, CMS and Deutsche Bank own majority shares of it via the subsidiary Kenanga Deutsche Futures, an accredited broker on the Malaysian stock exchange. In essence, CMS lives off contracts awarded by the Taib government without public bidding. The construction of the disputed Bakun dam has greatly benefited CMS from the ten-year contract for maintaining Sarawak’s entire road network.

Potentate’s assets likely to run into billions

Due to the German government’s announcement, the Malaysian potentate is now under investigation for the third time in a few months since 1981. Micheline Calmy-Rey initiated an investigation into Taib assets in Switzerland in May 2011, after the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA, initiated it. The Malaysian anti-corruption commission, MACC, announced at the beginning of June that it was investigating Taib’s corruption. It has been estimated that Taib’s corruption and abuse of office over the past 30 years have amassed him a fortune of several billion dollars.

As Sarawak’s head of government, minister of finance and minister of natural resources, Abdul Taib Mahmud has held all three positions concurrently since 1981. His destruction of the tropical rainforest of Sarawak on Borneo is widely regarded as his major responsibility. Former British prime minister Gordon Brown recently described the destruction of the Sarawak rainforest as “probably the biggest environmental crime of our time.”

Due to Taib? – Deutsche Bank closed a Bruno Manser Fund donation account

It has been dedicated to fighting the clearing of rainforests in Sarawak and the corruption of the Taib government since the Bruno Manser Fund was established in 1991 by Swiss rainforest activist Bruno Manser, who went missing subsequently. Manser caused a great deal of controversy when he paraglided into Sawarak’s government headquarters in Kuching in 1999.

The Deutsche Bank refused to continue running a donation account for the Bruno Manser Fund at its Lörrach, Germany, branch at the end of 2004. According to the bank’s General Terms and Conditions, it terminated its business relations with the Swiss association. The Bruno Manser Fund contacted Deutsche Bank’s CEO, Joe Ackermann, a Swiss national, but the bank stuck to its decision: “This is for a good reason. An employee of Deutsche Bank told the Bruno Manser Fund that the account was closed, but would not provide further details. In light of Deutsche Bank’s close business relationship with the Taib family, the Bruno Manser Fund assumes the account was closed out of consideration.

About the author

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a tech-savvy editor at World-Wire, renowned for his expertise in writing detailed technical articles and user-friendly how-to guides. With a background in Information Technology, he excels in demystifying complex tech topics. His work is highly valued for its accuracy and practicality, earning him awards like "Innovator in Tech Journalism" in 2023. Alex's role at World-Wire is pivotal in making technology accessible to a broad audience.

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