Danske Bank in Copenhagen is slipping deeper into what may become the largest European money-laundering scandal, the Frankfurter Rundschau writes.
Recently the media obtained information that “after inspection of documents from the bank’s internal investigation, it came out that in 2013 alone, $30 billion (€ 25.8 billion) from suspicious Russian sources passed through the bank’s branch in Estonia”.
The volume of illicit monetary flows greatly exceeds the $10 billion of Russian dirty money which Deutsche Bank admitted to having laundered in 2017.
“For Danske Bank, which, like Deutsche Bank, was previously indisputably the leading financial institute of its own country, with elite clients, the situation could become even worse,” the Frankfurter Rundschau believes.
After the money laundering reports surfaced, Danske Bank’s shares fell by more than 6%. According to Tallinn prosecutor Marek Vahing, the incident was orchestrated by “professional puppeteers”.
“In this money-laundering machine, money is transferred randomly here and there using a large number of companies, legal entities and complex structures,” the article cites Vahing as saying.
“The scandal may have already cost a human life: American businessman William Browder, known as the ‘money-laundering hunter’ brought charges against 26 former employees of Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, as well as against the bank itself, since he believes that he and his investment company Hermitage Capital have suffered losses. His Russian attorney Sergey Magnitsky died in mysterious circumstances in a Moscow prison,” the Frankfurter Rundschau recalls.