Estonia expands Danske money laundering probe

Estonian authorities have expanded their investigation into alleged money laundering through Danske Bank's local branch to cover transfers of up to $2bn, the Estonian prosecutor said on Thursday cited by Reuters. Widening of the investigation adds to pressure on Danske Bank, as the lender and its investors await a potentially much larger fine from US authorities for its involvement in one of the world's biggest money laundering scandals.

"We are investigating more than 10 cases with a total amount of up to $2bn," said a spokeswoman for the prosecutor general. The prosecutor said it was previously looking into suspect money flows worth $300m relating to two separate cases. It declined to comment further on the status of those new cases, but said it was working together with a number of countries, including the US.

Danske, Denmark's biggest bank, admitted in 2018 that suspicious payments totaling €200bn from Russia and elsewhere flowed through its branch in Estonia, triggering worldwide probes. "We of course continue to cooperate with the authorities and make ourselves - and the knowledge we have - available to the investigations," Danske said in a statement on Thursday.

Danske, which was thrown out of Estonia and has said it would also exit the other Baltic states and Russia, also repeated an earlier statement saying it "should never have had the now closed portfolio of non-resident customers in Estonia".

Similar articles