Estonia Charges Former Danske Bank Employees Over Money Laundering!

Estonia prosecutors charge Danske bank employees with money laundering
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Estonia’s prosecutor charged six people with laundering at least $1.6 billion and €6 million ($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 in suspicious payments flowed through the non-resident portfolio of the tiny branch between 2007 and 2015.

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, state prosecutor Maria Entsik said. “This was professional money laundering,” she explained, adding that the charged employees had created a money laundering operation hidden from other bank units.

The employees advised clients on how to hide an electronic trail of bank transfers. They helped them to prepare documents and sold them companies to help hide the real owners of funds, according to the prosecutor.

Prosecutors seized ten million euros worth of property, which they said the six had earned for providing money laundering services, Entsik’s office said in a statement.

Danske Bank pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy in December, forfeiting $2 billion as part of an agreement with the United States and Denmark. The bank remains subject to a criminal investigation in France and several civil litigation claims against the bank related to the Estonia case.

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