The Estonian branch of Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, has been revealed as the center of a massive money laundering operation. Between 2007 and 2015, 9.5 million payments were made through this tiny branch by about 15,000 non-resident customers, many of them Russian. The total value of these payments amounted to some 200bn Euros ($236bn), about 10 times Estonia’s GDP. The bank admitted in a press release that it expects “a significant part” of these payments to be “suspicious”.
A report by the Danish law firm Bruun & Hjejle reveals a catalogue of errors, management failures, process deficiencies and negligence. There are even suggestions that some staff colluded and assisted with the illegal activities identified in the report.