Prosecutor's Office: Danske money laundering offenses over $2 billion

Danske Bank's former branch in Tallinn, site of the largest throughflow of potentially illicit funds.
Danske Bank's former branch in Tallinn, site of the largest throughflow of potentially illicit funds. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

The Office of the Prosecutor General told daily Postimees Thursday that over 10 predicate offenses totaling over $2 billion (USD) have arisen from its investigation into the Estonian branch of Danish lender Danske Bank.

Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Kairi Kungas says there is ongoing cooperation with other countries, including the U.S., in uncovering predicate offenses in the criminal case, but was unable to disclose the content of the cooperation, BNS reports.

Altogether 11 account managers were previously charged in connection with money laundering suspicions at Danske, while the total sum of their potentially illicit transactions comes to approximately €300 million, Postimees writes.

The money laundering charges brought against the former employees are linked to incidents in Georgia and Azerbaijan, where local surveillance authorities are handling them independently, according to BNS.

A predicate offense concerning taxes is being processed in Azerbaijan, while proceedings regarding fraud are also ongoing in Georgia.

The individuals in question are: Jüri Kidjajev, former head of the private and foreign banking division at Danske Estonia, former communications manager Erik Lidmets, and former employees Jevgeni Agnevstsikov, Marko Teder, Mihhail Murnikov, Anna Kurilenko, Natalja Komarova, Olga Tsetverikova, Oksana Lindmets, Anna Kollo and Elena Kornett.

It has been claimed that some €200 billion, the bulk of which appears to have come from uncertain sources and mostly revolving around non-resident accounts, was channeled through Danske's Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

The scandal led to the resignation of Danske Bank, Thomas F. Borgen, in September 2018, and Danske's Tallinn branch closed down in October, by order of the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).

In addition, rules and control mechanisms pertaining to the financial sector have come under closer scrutiny in many places across the EU, according to BNS.

Danske is still also under investigation in France, Germany, the U.K.and the U.S., as well as its home country, and Estonia.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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