Estonian and Polish authorities investigate €5m fraud case
Polish and Estonian authorities have begun the criminal investigation of a suspected large-scale fraud and money laundering case believed to have caused damage in the amount of more than €5m.
According to investigators, a group based in Estonia and Poland engaged in defrauding businesses of money in 2014 and 2015. They operated in the disguise of a court of arbitration that never existed.
A joint investigating group of Estonian and Polish specialists has been established to be able to work more effectively, the Estonian Public Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday.
Coordinated and simultaneous searches, arrests, and the questioning of suspects was carried out in both countries last week. A court in Poland decided to place one Polish and one Estonian citizen under arrest for three months as the main suspects in the case.
“This is a good example of effective international cooperation. Without excessive red tape and by sharing information quickly we managed to collect evidence of large-scale fraud. Even though the size of the actual damage was €5m, the attempt was made to defraud victims of several tens of millions of euros,” the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Piret Paukstys, said.
Janek Maasik, in charge of the Central Criminal Police’s economic crimes unit, said that this was the first time the Estonian and Polish authorities had cooperated to this extent, and that there were satisfied with the outcome.