The current head of Swedbank's financial crime prevention unit Indrek Tibar will become judicial attache to the United States and will represent Estonia's interests in money laundering investigations.
The position was created after the Estonian government terminated the contract with Freeh Sporkin Sullivan LLP law firm to represent Estonia's interests in money laundering cases in the U.S.
The Ministry of Finance said in February that one of the judicial attache's most important tasks will be "to represent and defend the interests of the Estonian state in large money laundering investigations, to also participate in the future distribution of fines, when possible".
Tibar said his new position will also have a broader scope. "There are international criminal proceedings in many other areas as well. The aim is to support these proceedings and to make them a little simpler and faster through so-called official personal contacts."
He said the posting of law enforcement officials to other countries is quite common and added U.S. representatives have been in Estonia for some time.
"Of course, the primary goal is to represent Estonia's interests with the American authorities, but I also hope for some wider area of cooperation. It is believed that Estonia also has something to offer," he said.
Tibar heads the financial crime prevention unit at Swedbank. Previously he worked at the PPA, Hansabank and has international experience after a stint at the EU Police Mission in areas of the Palestinian Authority. His new role starts on April 15.
It is alleged that possible money laundering cases related to Swedbank took place at the end of 2000s and the beginning of the past decade.
Tibar said that at that time, he was more involved in developing the company's anti-money laundering framework and supporting some subsidiaries. "So, I rather supported other units and did not operate in this field in Estonia," he said.
He also said that according to the years that have been mentioned in the media, the severity of possible money laundering took place at a time when he was not working at the bank.
Editor: Helen Wright