10 people detained in Estonia in case of money laundering at Danske Bank
Bill Browder, who demanded the punishment of bankers, welcomed the new arrests.
Law enforcers in Estonia detained 10 people as part of an investigation into the laundering of billions of dollars at Danske Bank. All of them are former employees of the Estonian branch of the credit institution, said the Head of the Central Criminal Police Aivar Alavere at a press conference broadcast by portal Delfi.
According to him, the detainees were employees of the bank’s department for providing services to VIP clients (Private Banking). The investigation believes all of them were complicit in the laundering of large sums passing through the bank. The names of the detainees have not been announced, it is only noted that Aivar Rehe, the former Head of the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, is not among them. In addition, Alavere said that the names of most detainees were mentioned in a statement of the Head of the Hermitage Capital investment fund, William Browder, who demanded that the Estonian prosecutor's office initiated a criminal case of large-scale money laundering in the Estonian branch of Danske Bank.
As The CrimeRussia wrote earlier with reference to the Financial Times, last year the Estonian branch of Danske Bank transferred about $30 billion to non-residents, who were mostly citizens of Russia and other states - former Soviet republics.
In turn, Estonian Attorney General Lavly Perling stated that all the detainees were previously client managers with Danske Bank, whose duties included combating money laundering. According to prosecutors, the detainees laundered about €300 million, the money was withdrawn from Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Perling also remarked that as part of the investigation of the case, assets worth over €1 million were arrested. The number of detainees, she said, may increase.
William Browder, sentenced in absentia in Russia to nine years in prison for financial fraud and tax evasion, welcomed the detentions. According to him, the situation may change if people in the West go to jail for laundering Russian money.
Six months ago, no one could predict the state of the MIA General Administration for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region by the time of the forthcoming elections. After the appointment of Moscow general Roman Plugin in charge of it, the St. Petersburg police has undergone significant changes. Major general of justice Oleg Antropov, Head of the Main Investigations Directorate, is ‘the last man standing’ from the old command of the MIA General Administration. Most probably, he is going to become the next victim of ‘janitor’ Plugin.