Billions from ex-Soviet states passed through Danske Bank in 2013

Nearly US$30 billion of Russian and ex-Soviet money passed through accounts of the troubled Estonian branch of Danske Bank, Financial Times reported.

Danske BankDanske BankA report commissioned by the bank and seen by the Financial Times says that the 30 billion flowed through the bank’s accounts in just one year.

In July Berlinske reported that some US$8.3 billion were laundered through the Danske Bank Estonia operation. This would constitute one of Europe’s largest ever known cases of money laundering.  

The report raises the question whether the bank’s leadership knew about the dealings of its Estonian branch. A whistleblower had sent an e-mail to the management, reporting about what was going in the Estonian offices and Estonian regulators were also conducting an investigation.

This all prompted the bank, although years later, to hire a consultant and launch its own investigation.

The report by Promontory Financial found that the 30 billion were passed through accounts of non-residents in 2013, when 80,000 transactions were recorded. The scandal apparently lasted from 2007 until 2015.

“We are in the process of finalising reports, but as we have already communicated, it is clear that the issues related to the portfolio were bigger than we have previously anticipated,” Ole Andersen, the chairman of Danske Bank told the Financial Times. He said US$ 8.3 billion out of the 30 billion were suspicious.

Denmarks Financial Supervisory Authority stated in a joint statement with the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority that a criminal procedure is decided, and carried out by police and public prosecutors, with regard to money laundering and terrorist financing.