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Estonian branch of Danske Bank used to launder $1.6 billion

Danske Bank branch office in Latvia.
Danske Bank branch office in Latvia. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

According to information available to dailies Postimees and Novaja Gazeta, illegal funds in the amount of $1.6 billion have been laundered using Estonian banks.

Postimees wrote on Tuesday that three years of work of an international group of investigative journalists in cooperation with independent Russian paper Novaja Gazeta had been able to trace how international banks had laundered some $20.8 billion of Russian money.

Of the $1.6 billion that moved through Estonia, the lion’s share went through Danske Bank’s Estonian branch. The bank’s Estonian CEO, Ivar Pae, told Postimees that they were having difficulties with their systems intended to monitor and prevent money laundering.

According to Pae, the bank has undertaken several changes for this reason, changes that affected the bank’s management and organization as well.

The investigative journalists’ work showed how criminal funds moved through 112 Eastern European banks, and from there on to banks around the world.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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