Six ex-Danske employees charged with money laundering
On Monday, Estonia's state prosecutor said she had charged six people with laundering at least $1.6 billion and 6 million euros ($6.58 million) at the now-defunct Estonian office of Danske Bank, Denmark's largest lender.
The operations in Estonia became the focus of a massive money laundering scandal after it was discovered some 200 billion euros ($219.5 billion) in suspicious payments flowed through the non-resident portfolio of the tiny branch between 2007 and 2015.
State prosecutor Maria Entsik said.
- The six former employees of the branch intentionally concealed the real owners of funds of suspected criminal origin, which were transferred into accounts at Danske during 2007-2015,
- "This was professional money laundering,"
- The charge had created a money laundering operation which was hidden from other units of the bank.
- Their services included advising clients on how to hide an electronic trail of bank transfers, helping them to prepare documents, and selling them companies to help hide the real owners of funds,
Entsik's office said:
- Prosecutors seized ten million euros worth of property, which they said the six had earned for providing money laundering services,
The indictment referred to eight alleged crimes committed in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Switzerland, the United States and Iran.
Danske Bank declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
The bank pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy in December, forfeiting $2 billion as part of an agreement with the United States and Denmark.
Danske, however, remains subject to a criminal investigation in France and several civil litigation claims against the bank related to the Estonia case.
Reuters - VILNIUS, April 17 (Reuters) - https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/estonia-charges-six-ex-danske-bank-branch-staff-money-laundering-case-2023-04-17/
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