Danske Bank money laundering investigation got major blow

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Danske Bank money laundering investigation got major blow
Danske Bank money laundering investigation got major blow :File Photo

Danske Bank money laundering investigation got major blow as former head of Danske Bank in Estonia found dead.

Estonian police have found the body of the former head of Danske Bank in Estonia who was at the centre of a $220bn money laundering scandal and had disappeared two days ago.

Police said Aivar Rehe went missing on Monday, fuelling speculation that the disappearance might be related to the 2007-2015 money-laundering scheme the largest ever uncovered in Europe.

Rehe was found after a search involving dogs, drones and volunteers near his home in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Police said no third parties were suspected in the disappearance and suggested the possibility of a suicide. No other details were made available.

Rehe, who was head of Danske Bank in Estonia from 2006 to 2015, said in March that he felt responsible but also believed Danske Bank’s anti-money laundering mechanisms at that time were sufficient.

He was not considered a suspect in any of the ongoing investigations into the bank.

Danske Bank is under investigation on both sides of the Atlantic for allegedly funnelling billions of dollars in illicit wealth through its Estonian branch, which it acquired in 2006.

From then until 2015, some 200 billion euros ($220bn) in suspicious transactions Passed through the branch.

The massive sum 10 times Estonia’s gross domestic product was paid in by non-residents, with most of the deposits coming from Russia.

The story broke in March 2017, after the Estonian branch was mentioned by Danish newspaper Berlingske in connection with the Russia and Azerbaijani Laundromat money-laundering operations.

Initially, the sum allegedly laundered was thought to amount to around two billion dollars, however, following investigations by Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) and Danske Bank itself, the figure was discovered to be $220bn.

Danske Bank chief resigned few days back over €200bn money laundering scandal.