CorruptionNewsOrganised Crime

10 detained in Estonia on money laundering charges

Ten arrests have been made in Estonia, where employees of Danske bank are suspected of involvement in a major money laundering scandal that has been unfolding for some time. Danske Estonia was the primary conduit from cleaning dirty money from former Soviet states.

The suspects are mainly Danske client managers accused of knowingly helping to launder money mainly from Azerbaijan and Georgia. Over 1m EUR have been confiscated as part of the arrests.

The investigation has been going on since November 2017 and it is believed over $300m was laundered. More arrests could soon follow, with sources claiming a number of civil society organisations could soon be dragged into the scandal.

Estonian officials made clear how important the work of Bill Browder has been in pursuing the laundered money, acknowledging most of the ten suspects were identified using Browder’s intel.

Danske finally admitted that over $200bn had passed through its Estonian branch between 2007-2015, with reports of transfers involving even members of Vladimir Putin’s family.

Investigations are still ongoing, but the Danske scandal is already one of the biggest money laundering scandals in history.

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