A whistleblower at the Danish bank, a former Head of Trading named Howard Wilkinson, exposed an array of suspicious activity at the bank that took place between 2007 to 2014.
It is thought that up to $250 billion of suspect funds were handled by Danske Bank’s Estonian branch in that time period, with illicit funds flowing in from Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan.
The scale of the fraud – which some have termed the largest money laundering case in history – forced Danske Bank’s CEO, Thomas Borgen, to resign last month.
“It is clear that Danske Bank has failed to live up to its responsibility in the case of possible money laundering in Estonia,” said Borgen. “I deeply regret this.”
Deutsche Bank – the oligarchs’ correspondent bank
In the wake of Borgen’s resignation, the names of several other major firms that helped Danske Bank in its efforts, amongst them Bank of America and JP Morgan, have started to emerge.
But according to a Bloomberg report released this Monday, it was Deutsche Bank that played the largest role in helping the Danish firm purify its allegedly ill-gotten gains.
Speaking to Danish lawmakers, Wilkinson said that he believed more than half of the funds processed by Danske Bank were handled with a “large European lender” – named by Bloomberg as Deutsche Bank – acting as a correspondent bank.
“This was the main correspondent bank for U.S. dollars,” said Wilkinson. “And they were the last one to go, it took them until 2015, at least nine years.”
Criminal investigators in the US have been in contact with Deutsche Bank according to Bloomberg’s report. What the fruits of that investigation will be, if they are indeed speaking to the German firm, remain to be seen.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)