Estonia begins a criminal investigation against the Estonian branch of Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, suspected of money laundering, as stated by the Prosecutor General of the country, Lavly Perling, on Tuesday.
According to her, the prosecutor’s office opened this case after the appeal of the head of the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund, Bill Browder.
According to the Danish newspaper Berlingske, which in February referred to the report of one of the directors of the bank, suspicious transactions of Danske Bank in Estonia may have involved people from the Russian special services, people connected to the Federal Security Service of Russian Federation, as well as cousin of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Igor.
Money laundering transactions and withdrawals took place between 2011 and 2014 through the Estonian branch of Danske and Russian Promsberbank, which lost its license in 2015.
Danske Bank acknowledged suspicious transactions and after receiving a message from the informer, that the department was involved in suspicious and possibly illegal activities, in 2013 closed about 20 accounts of companies allegedly affiliated with Russia.
Currently, the bank conducts an internal investigation and will present the results in September.
Danske Bank’s shares have fallen by 24% since the beginning of the year, and its market value has decreased by $ 9.6 billion.