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Deutsche Bank investigating possible money laundering by Russian clients

Deutsche Bank is investigating transactions over a number of years concerning possible money laundering transactions by some of its clients in Russia. The sum involved could exceed $6 billion.

Deutsche Bank's internal investigation into possible money laundering transactions is in its initial stages. The European Central Bank, German regulator BaFin, as well as the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been informed about the probe.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported that about $6 billion (5.4 billion euros) of transactions over a period of about four years, from 2011 through early 2015, were being investigated.

"We are committed to participating in international efforts to detect and combat suspicious activities and we take strong action where we find evidence of misconduct," Deutsche Bank announced in a statement Friday. "We have placed on leave a small number of individuals from our Moscow operation pending the results of an internal review."

The Bank of Russia asked Deutsche Bank to investigate the stock-trading activities of some of its Russian clients last October, Bloomberg said.

The transactions being examined involve stocks bought by Russian clients in rubles through Deutsche Bank, and simultaneous trades through London in which the bank bought the same securities for similar amounts in US dollars.

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, was

fined $2.5 billion in April by regulators in the US and the UK

for manipulating interest-rate benchmarks.

In May, Manager Magazin, a German business monthly, reported that Deutsche Bank had informed BaFin about possible money laundering at its Moscow branch.

jm/bk (Reuters, dpa)

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