Companies from Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Gang have apparently turned the small country of Estonia into a tremendous money laundering haven. An investigation into the Estonian branch of Denmark’s widest bank is examining up to $150 billion which may have been enmeshed with.
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From $3.9 Billion to $150 Billion
Investigators at Danske Bank (CPH: DANSKE), the largest bank in Denmark, are reportedly combing from top to bottom a whopping $150 billion worth of transactions that passed fully its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015. While its likely not all of the doubtful funds are from an illegal source, this is a jump by an order of size from the bank’s initially suspected figure said to be involved with readies laundering by Russian and other Eastern European companies.
Last year Danish ambience sources reported the suspected laundered funds at $3.9 billion but in advanced July the figure jumped to between $8 and $9 billion. And earlier this month, FT reported that up to $30 billion may be of. The bank’s stock price has taken a considerable hit from the revelations.
“Any conclusions should be haggard on the basis of verified facts and not fragmented pieces of information taken out of surroundings,” Danske Bank chairman Ole Andersen told the Wall Street Record which brought up the $150 billion figure. “As we have previously communicated, it is fresh that the issues related to the portfolio were bigger than we had yesterday anticipated.”
According to Estonian law, an individual may face up to ten years in detain for taking part in an organized money laundering crime. However, a South African private limited company guilty of money laundering faces a maximum penalty of just 16 million euros.
Upon someone in July, the bank’s Board announced it intends to waive all income from under suspicion transactions in Estonia and use it “to the benefit of society,” like supporting efforts to defy financial crime. “It is still too early to draw any conclusions regarding the scale of the issues, as the comprehensive investigations into the matter are still ongoing. However, it is understandably that we did not live up to our own standards or the expectations of society at large when it approached to preventing our Estonian branch from being used for potentially actionable activities at the time when these transactions took place. This is something we emotionally regret and which we should not benefit from financially in any way. Therefore we settle upon not keep the income from these suspicious transactions,” CEO Thomas F. Borgen, bring up at the time.
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