New info from Estonia's Danske Bank investigation expected by end of year ({{commentsTotal}})

Prosecutor General Lavly Perling.
Prosecutor General Lavly Perling. Source: ERR

The criminal investigation into the Estonian branch of Danske Bank is expected to progress enough by the end of the year that the Prosecutor's Office will be able to reveal new information about it, Prosecutor General Lavly Perling confirmed to the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.

The criminal investigation into the Estonian branch of Danske Bank is expected to progress enough by the end of the year that the Prosecutor's Office will be able to reveal new information about it, Prosecutor General Lavly Perling confirmed to the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.

The Legal Affairs Committee has reached the home stretch in hearings in connection with the money laundering scandal, and will be compiling a report on the matter in November, reported ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera.

According to Perling, cooperation with the Prosecutor's Office in Denmark has been good, but cooperation with Russia, the alleged source of the money laundering, has been difficult, as a result of which they will end up going without a lot of crucial information from there.

Whether or not the Prosecutor's Office will issue letters rogatory to Russia will depend on data collected during the investigation. Perling said, however, that appeals for legal assistance have been sent to European as well as third countries.

Danske Bank has reported eight people to the Estonian police in connection with the suspected money laundering. The prosecutor general said, however, that she could not specify how many people were currently under investigation. Due to the ongoing investigation, she could also not confirm whether investigators had interrogated Aivar Rehe, who was CEO of the bank at the time the alleged money laundering took place.

"Until we can discuss concrete allegations, we cannot speculate regarding the number of people either," Perling said. "Eight is the number that has been brought up in various statements, but whether this number will increase or decrease, this is to be answered in the future."

She added that Rehe was certainly someone who may know important facts regarding the matter.

Committee chair: Many shortcomings revealed

The Legal Affairs Committee has heard representatives from all Estonian finance- and supervision-related institutions in connection with the Danske  Bank scandal. According to committee chairman Jaanus Karilaid, these hearings have revealed a number of shortcomings in the prevention of money laundering.

According to then-Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi, who spoke with the committee on Thursday, Danske had been on the radar of finance supervision ten years ago already.

"Times have changed a great deal, and we are much smarter, but in principle, the best possible was done at the time, according to the information of the time as well as the environment of the time," Ligi said.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla



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