This is an "old" story (shared by K.M.), in that it appeared prior to the German federal elections which were held approximately two weeks ago, but the story is even more significant for that, because we're still more or less waiting for a coalition government to be formed, under the likely leader of that government, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, former finance minister.
If that is the case, the new coalition leader and likely chancellor will come into office under an unusual cloud:
Note the cloud hanging over Scholz:
German prosecutors raided the finance and justice ministries on Thursday as part of an investigation into the government’s anti-money laundering agency, putting a spotlight on Germany's failings in tackling financial crime.
The probe into the Financial Intelligence Unit, an agency of the finance ministry under Social Democrat chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, is looking at whether it was told to ignore warnings of suspect payments to Africa.
The raids come at a pivotal moment for Scholz, who opinion polls suggest has a good chance of becoming German chancellor in national elections on Sept 26.
Scholz rebuffed criticism from lawmakers following the raids, but the episode casts a cloud because it refocuses attention on the ministry he runs. The FIU and BaFin, the financial regulator, which also answers to Scholz have been under scrutiny for failing to spot problems at payments firm Wirecard, which collapsed last year in Germany's biggest corporate fraud.
What's more intriguing is where the laundering was occurring, and what it was allegedly being used for:
A spokesman for the public prosecutors said they launched the enquiry after receiving complaints that the FIU had not acted on millions of euros of suspect transactions, including to Africa, between 2018 and 2020.
He said they had searched the ministries to see whether the agency had been told to ignore the suspect money flows.
Prosecutors said the agency was alerted by banks because of concerns the money was linked to trafficking of arms and drugs and terrorism financing, saying that the FIU took note of the report but did not forward it to law enforcement agencies.
So what's my high octane speculation of the day? Well, first of all, this scandal is already hanging over Herr Scholz and whatever government he may manage to cobble together. Thus, the possibility has to be entertained that whoever may have been behind the money-laundering may possess a certain degree of influence over any such government. Think of Bidenenko, and his links to China, and you get the idea. In short, any coalition government formed will likely be a weak one and very possibly a scandal-ridden one.
But there's a second factor that bothers me here, and that's the timing of this, occurring at the same time that the fallout from the debacle of the US abandonment of Afghanistan. Given the amounts of money the former Afghani president made away with, and given the Afghani central bank's reserves on deposit in the US Federal Reserve, one has to wonder if, instead of the appearance of two icebergs above the surface - the Germany money-laundering, and the loss of Afghanistan as a money-laundering center for the G-7 (per Julian Asange's allegations of some years ago)- we are really looking at one big interconnected iceberg beneath the surface. I strongly suspect that we are, given what I've previously written and described as a "hidden system of finance".
In this respect, it's important to recall that the German money-laundering operation was being run through, and therefore to some extent by, the Finance and Justice ministries. In other words, someone with knowledge of those procedures of those ministries had to have set up those operations, and that means, "inside job."
One thing seems certain, and that is that we've not heard the last of this story, and that it's one to watch closely.
See you on the flip side....