Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Swedbank fires Estonia executives amid historic money laundering scandal

-

Three top executives at the Estonian branch of Swedbank, including a one-time candidate for central bank governor, have been fired amid an ongoing investigation into a vast money-laundering scandal.

The news came not long after police in Estonia confirmed that the former chief executive officer of the local branch of Danske Bank had taken his own life, as criminal probes into the Danish lender’s involvement in a €200bn dirty-money affair continue. Swedbank is being investigated for its possible involvement in the Danske saga.

Estonia has emerged as ground zero for Europe’s worst-ever laundering case, after the local branches of both Danske and Swedbank were allegedly used to funnel billions of dollars in suspicious funds from the former Soviet Union into the West.

Danske said on Tuesday its local branch has been put in liquidation as it completes an exit from Estonia first announced in February, following an order from the financial supervisor.

- Advertisement -

Stockholm-based Swedbank, which dominates the financial industry in the Baltic region, said late on Monday that its former Estonia chief executive Robert Kitt, who had been suspended since June, has now lost his job. He had been seen at one point as a candidate to replace Ardo Hansson as the governor of Estonia’s central bank, a position that would also guarantee a seat on the governing council of the European Central Bank.

Vaiko Tammevali, who had been chief financial officer at Swedbank in Estonia before being suspended in June, also lost his job, as did Kaie Metsla, the current head of the bank’s private customer division, according to a statement late on Monday.

Swedbank said it appointed Olavi Lepp as its permanent chief executive to run the Estonian unit. Anna Kouts will take over as CFO, it said.

The decision to remove the executives was based on “information concerning historical shortcomings connected to anti-money laundering work,” according to Bjoern Elfstrand, council chair of Swedbank Estonia.

- Advertisement -

According to the bank, ongoing investigations into money laundering have so far not shown that there was any criminal activity.

MUST READ

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 million after admitting to tax evasion

Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax...

Mexico’s ex-army chief arrested in US on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering

Former Mexican Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country’s armed forces for six years under then-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested...

Texas billionaire Robert Brockman charged in $2 billion tax evasion case

Robert Brockman, the Houston billionaire and CEO of a software company, has been charged with taking $2 billion through a scheme to evade taxes,...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Crown Melbourne casino faces money laundering probe

Crown Resorts is facing a new threat to its casino licences and the prospect of multimillion-dollar fines after it was informed by Austrac, the...

US arrests members of international money laundering group QQAAZZ

The US Department of Justice has unsealed charges against 14 members of an international money laundering group known as QQAAZZ. US authorities said the group...

Italian police arrests woman close to Vatican cardinal in corruption probe

The Vatican’s swirling corruption investigation has taken a mysterious new twist with the arrest on an international warrant of a Sardinian woman said to...

Medical device maker Merit Medical agrees to pay $18m to settle false claims

Medical device maker Merit Medical Systems Inc. (MMSI), of South Jordan, Utah, has agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations that the company...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks