The German Prosecutor’s Office has reopened an investigation into the so-called scandal of the former vice president – tax fraud with a billion dollars. As a result, many private apartments and offices of the Tax Office in Hamburg were searched. Olaf Schulz – the Social Democrats’ candidate for chancellor of Germany – is linked to the case. A possible successor to Angela Merkel who once served as mayor of Hamburg and is now finance minister.

The Cologne Prosecutor’s Office wants to determine whether the Hamburg Senate and senior SPD politicians (including Schulz) influenced the Hamburg tax office, which as a result of these actions exempted Warburg Bank from taxes of 47 million euros. As a result of the so-called stock trading scandal taking advantage of tax loopholes, the German tax authorities lost billions of euros.

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Prosecutor’s Office resumes investigation

In connection with this scandal, the Public Prosecutor’s Office conducted searches in the tax office and several private apartments in Hamburg on Tuesday. Prosecutors want to know why Warburg Bank was allowed in 2016 to withhold illegally obtained tax refunds amounting to 47 million euros (resulting from the use of illegal illegal transactions). The investigation is to determine whether the case was affected by Scholz – like the former Federal Minister of Finance and the former mayor of Hamburg – describes the economic magazine “WirtschaftsWoche”.

So far, Scholz has not been linked to the scandal despite his alleged affair with former Warburg Bank employee Christian Olearius. “Revealing such communications could cost Scholz the chancellor’s office,” confirms the NDR Radio website. Aside from Schulz, other SPD politicians have also appeared in the case, including Johannes Kars.

Olaf Schultz with his wife during election nightPAP / EPA / MAJA HITIJ / POOL

Commission of Inquiry into the scandal of the former Vice President

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In addition to the actions of the Cologne prosecutors, the Hamburg Parliamentary Inquiry Committee is also trying to shed light on the case. The Bundestag has also dealt with the Hamburg tax scandal during the last period. WirtschaftsWoche adds: “The Finance Committee has discussed vigorously with the Federal Treasury regarding the public disclosure in July 2020 of the minutes of Finance Minister Schulz’s hearing.” Schulz’s testimony has not been revealed to this day, and in the summer of 2020, the issue of the Hamburg financial scandal was covered by a “pandemic”.

WirtschaftsWoche asserts that “recent searches in Hamburg show that clarification still appears to be needed”. They were investigated, inter alia, by officials from the Hamburg Tax Office who had previously testified in favor of Scholz and SPD politicians connected to the case, including Kahrs.

Olaf Schultz during the election campaignPAP / Environmental Protection Agency

Schulz suspected of lobbying in favor of the bank

Left-wing politician Fabio de Masi, a member of the Bundestag’s investigative committee, believes that Schulz was lobbying for Warburg Bank. Kars also assisted in the bank’s communications with the Ministry of Finance, where he “received a donation from Olearius to the SPD party in Hamburg, which has not yet returned the donation,” WirtschaftsWoche adds.

However, as German media have pointed out, for Schulz’s supporters, the financial scandals surrounding him as Federal Finance Minister do not seem to be of much interest – Most Germans see him as a new chancellor. In addition to the cum-ex scandal, the high-profile Wirecard case, or recent research into the Ministry of Finance as part of an investigation against the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Intelligence Unit (Anti-Money Laundering Unit) has been.

Main image source: PAP / EPA / FOCKE STRANGMANN

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