Companies from former Soviet Union including Russia have made Estonia into a huge money laundering heaven. A branch of Denmark’s largest bank in Estonia have launched on an investigation of %150 billion.
Since 2007 to 2015, investigators of Danske Bank(DANSKE), the largest Danish bank, made $150 billion worth transactions through Estonian branch. Although it is difficult to expect that all suspicious funds are from an illegal source, this is not reasonable enough to conclude that money laundering is done by Russian and other Eastern European companies.
Danish media channels were questionable that suspected laundered funds at $3.9 billion but in a short time it turned out to be between $8 and $9 billion. In the beginning of September, FT stated that up to $30 billion are dubious. The stock price of the bank has reached a great hit from the revelations. Ole Andersen, the chairman of Danske, said that any conclusions should be based on proven facts and not by random information. He added, “we have talked it before that it is clear the issues are bigger than we had expected.” Considering the Estonian law, an individual can be imprisoned up to ten years for taking part in an planned money laundering crime. However, a company who holds the guilty of it can be charged maximum 16 million euros for the cost.
In July, the bank’s board claimed that they would give up all incomes from suspicious transactions in Estonia and use it for social purposes, especially to prevent further financial crimes. Thomas F. Borgen, the CEO, mentioned that it is too early to draw any conclusion yet but they cannot just see and listen to all negative and unverified news about harmful information about their Estonian branch will can severely damage it.
Author: Jieun Lee