Denmark prosecutor drops all former Danske CEO money laundering charges

Thomas Borgen.
Thomas Borgen. Source: ERR

Danish prosecutors have dropped all money laundering charges against former Danske Bank CEO Thomas Borgen. Borgen headed up the bank at a time when one of the largest alleged money laundering cases came to light, centered on the bank's now-defunct Tallinn branch.

"We have dropped all charges against former chief executive Thomas Borgen, former chief financial officer Henrik Ramlau-Hansen and former head of international banking Lars Morch," the Danish public prosecutor for economic and international crime said Thursday.

"There is no legal evidence that any individual has broken the law," Per Fiig, Acting Attorney General of Denmark, said of the case.

Over €200 billion in potentially illicit funds, primarily originating in the Russian Federation, was thought to have passed through Danske Estonia's portals between 2007 and 2015.

The full extent of the money laundering allegations came to light from 2018, and the bank shut up shop in late 2019.

Investigations are continuing in the U.S., though Danske says it hopes to get this resolved quickly as well, U.K. financial daily the FT reports.

In a controversial deal, former finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) contracted a U.S. lawyer and former FBI chief to represent Estonia in hearings in New York State, with a view to obtaining a cut of any damages which may have been forthcoming, and to help restore Estonia's international reputation in the wake of the scandal.

Prime minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) tore up the agreement shortly after entering office in January, though a termination penalty or other outstanding bills still apply.

Counsel for Thomas Borgen, who resigned over the scandal, said that his client was very happy with the prosecutor's decision, while  Ramlau-Hansen's and Morch's lawyers have not publicly commented.

Borgen's replacement as Danske CEO, Chris Vogelzang, was himself recently fired following allegations of involvement in money laundering activities at his previous employers.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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