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Did Johannes Kahrs lobby the Bafin boss?


New trouble for Johannes Kahrs: The former SPD member is involved in the tax scandal surrounding the Warburg Bank. Now it comes out that in 2016 he arranged a phone call with the then head of the financial supervisory authority Bafin.

Enlarge image

The former SPD politician Kahrs in the Bundestag in 2019


M. Popow / imago images / Metodi Popow

In the affair of the cum-ex business of the Warburg Bank, the banking supervisory authority Bafin admitted that the former Hamburg SPD politician Johannes Kahrs, who was involved in the scandal, could have telephoned the then head of the authority, Felix Hufeld.

Calendar records indicate that a phone call was scheduled for September 1, 2016.

The conversation should take place “on the subject of cum-ex”, according to a response from the Federal Ministry of Finance to the left-wing MP Fabio De Masi, which is available to SPIEGEL.

The Bafin cannot reconstruct whether it actually took place.

Under the buzzword Cum-Ex, tricky stock transactions were known which only served to have capital gains taxes paid back multiple times.

Courts have now classified the practice as illegal.

The possible phone call would be explosive.

Because the then SPD member of the Bundestag Kahrs met with the Warburg banker Christian Olearius in March 2016.

According to Olearius' diary, Kahrs offered help with an impending repayment claim from the tax authorities because of the CumEx business.

This repayment would have brought the bank into financial difficulties, about which the banker was also in an exchange with the Bafin.

The Hamburg tax authorities finally let the tax claim become statute-barred.

In 2017, the SPD - in particular Kahrs' local association - received donations from the Warburg Bank and its affiliated companies totaling 45,500 euros.

Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz also met several times with Warburg banker Olearius, but claims that he cannot remember the specifics of the talks.

The Cologne public prosecutor's office is investigating Kahrs and other people on suspicion of beneficiary.

At the end of September, she had his private house and offices in the Hamburg tax office for large companies and in the tax authorities searched.

In the past, Kahrs and Scholz denied the allegation that they interfered in the tax matter.

Neither Kahrs nor Hufeld responded to a SPIEGEL request.

"Kahrs apparently even cleaned the doors of the President of the Financial Supervisory Authority for the Cum-Ex donation from Warburg Bank to the SPD Hamburg," says left-wing politician De Masi.

The public prosecutor should therefore also question ex-BaFin boss Hufeld.

gt / mhs

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-15

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