An international group of bankers, lawyers and stockbrokers - reportedly with links to the City of London - appears to have fiddled the tax system, employing practices which were at best unethical, at worst illegal.
Ultimately they may have deprived the state of nearly €32bn (£28bn; $36bn). As the German broadcaster ARD wryly noted, that would have paid for repairs to a lot of schools and bridges.
The newspaper Die Zeit adds that the sum would more than cover the cost of the refugee influx for a year. Prosecutors have been investigating for some time. And gradually it is emerging that large-scale tax avoidance was taking place right under the noses of the authorities.
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