Danske Bank associated with back-to-back deals with Deutsche Bank in Russia
In 2013, the bank closed 20 accounts of Russian clients because of suspicions of money laundering.
Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, closed 20 Russian customer accounts in 2013 due to suspicions that they could be used to launder money through British company Lantana Trade LLP, The Guardian reports. The outlet refers to the report of an unknown informant, which was originally submitted to Danish newspaper Berlingske, and then sent to The Guardian and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCRRP).
The report reads that the accounts were closed after the Estonian branch of Danske Bank turned out to be involved in "suspicious activity", writes RBC. In particular, in the summer of 2013, the bank's employees discovered that Lantana reported to the UK registry about its inactive status and limited turnover. In fact, the company had large deposits in Danske Bank, and it daily made transactions for millions of euros. Lantana account in the bank was opened at the end of 2012 and existed for 11 months.
Owners of the British company and small firms affiliated with it were Russian citizens who were beneficiaries of offshore companies in the Seychelles and Marshall Islands. However, the report indicates that Danske Bank was unable to establish their identity.
However, according to The Guardian, the managers of the Estonian branch of the bank linked Lantana to Russian Promsberbank, which was stripped of its license in 2015. Currently, its former owners Alexander Grigoryev and Alexey Kulikov are serving time for money laundering in other cases. In particular, the investigation connected Promsberbank with back-to-back deals in Deutsche Bank - the Russian subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
Danske Bank is reported to have launched an investigation to delve into the events that took place in the Estonian branch of the bank. However, the Danish bank did not comment on information about "specific clients", noting that "the whole dubious portfolio" with the participation of Russian clients is "classified."