Officers of the Central Criminal Police arrested and kept three employees of Tallinn Business Bank in custody for a period of 48 hours on Tuesday, one of whom is suspected of money laundering and the other two of accepting a bribe and money laundering.
The Corruption Crime Bureau of the Central Criminal Police is handling a criminal case in which suspicions of money laundering and the accepting of bribes by the bank's employees are being reviewed. A number of nonresident transactions have likewise gained the attention of the investigative body, the Office of the Prosecutor General said.
Corruption Crime Bureau director Mati Ombler said that impeding money laundering is an important priority for the police.
"Cash flows with illegal backgrounds originally from third countries harm the Estonian economy and threaten the country's reputation," Ombler said. "It is therefore of the utmost importance that banks comply with anti-money laundering requirements. We launched these criminal proceedings in summer 2018, and this week we conducted procedural acts involving the bank's staff to gather further evidence regarding these allegations. For the sake of clarity, I can confirm that this procedure is not related to the Danske Bank investigation."
State Prosecutor Marek Vahing, who is leading the criminal investigation, said that the Office of the Prosecutor General in cooperation with the Financial Supervision Authority and the Central Criminal Police have contributed more than ever before to the fight against money laundering over the past two years.
"This week, three persons suspected of money laundering were arrested and searches conducted at their places of residence and employment," Vahing said. "All suspects are heads of various departments at the Business Bank, and existing evidence suggests that two suspects accepted bribes this year and last year. During further criminal proceedings, we will specify the time as well as scope of the committing of these crimes."
The investigation is being led by the Office of the Prosecutor General and conducted by the Corruption Crimes Bureau of the Central Criminal Police.
Editor: Aili Vahtla