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Document of the Day: Danske Bank’s Dirty Money

Danske Bank, the largest financial institution in Denmark, is embroiled in a massive money laundering scandal involving its Estonian branch. An investigation by the Bruun & Hjejle law firm into the branch’s activities resulted in its Report on the NonResident Portfolio at Danske Bank’s Estonian branchThe investigation examined approximately 15,000 customers and 9.5 million payments. Some 12,000 documents and more than 8 million emails were searched, and more than 70 interviews were conducted with relevant bank personnel.

The report found a series of “major deficiencies in controls and governance” that allowed $235 billion worth of questionable transactions, suspected to be money-laundered proceeds from Russia, to be funneled through its branch in Estonia. It also discovered that a vast majority of the customers examined were deemed suspicious and that Danske officials were aware of high-risk customers earlier than previously indicated.

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