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German authorities arrest 2 bankers for alleged involvement in cum-ex affair

German federal police arrested two unnamed bankers for their alleged involvement in a €383 million tax fraud at Maple Bank GmbH, the now-defunct Frankfurt-based unit of Canada's Maple Financial Group Inc., Reuters reported, citing a statement by prosecutors.

The arrests are part of the ongoing German investigation of so-called cum-ex trades, a dividend-stripping technique used to avoid paying taxes, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told the newswire.

In November 2018, Frankfurt prosecutors raided the offices of global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in connection with Maple Bank, which allegedly conducted cum-ex transactions worth €486 million in Germany under the firm's advice.

In a separate case, British bankers Martin Shields and Nicholas Diable are facing a trial in Bonn, Germany, for their alleged involvement in the cum-ex tax fraud that led to €440 million in losses for the German government. Shields told the court in September that he earned €12 million from trades using the dividend-stripping technique to avoid paying taxes.