A sign for the bank Nordea
The money laundered reportedly came from criminal activities in Russia. Credit: Emil Langvad/TT

Nordea named in money-laundering probe

Nordea and Danske Bank are involved in a major international money-laundering probe, according to documents seen by the Danish newspaper Berlingske.

Nordea and Danske Bank accounts were used for transferring more than DKK 7 billion to tax havens around the world via shell companies across Europe, Berlingske reports. According to Berlingske, the money laundering predominantly involved Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, and to a lesser extent Nordea’s Danish branch.

European media reported yesterday about the same money-laundering probe, which also involves banks in Germany, the UK and the US. A total of at least USD 20 billion was reportedly laundered in a similar manner between 2011 and 2014.

Two banks in Moldova and Latvia are at the centre of the probe. The suspected money laundering were first uncovered in those countries, and according to several media outlets the money came from criminal activities in Russia. Berlingske reports that 14 judges have been arrested in Moldova.

The bank’s Swedish press secretary, Petter Brunnberg, told Swedish Radio they take the probe seriously, but also said the bank has already started reviewing its routines for uncovering money laundering.

“At Nordea we absolutely do not tolerate being used as a base for money laundering,” Brunnberg said.

Nordea, which is headquartered in Stockholm, was formed in 2000 through a merger of Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian banks. It was partly owned by the Swedish state until 2013. In the Panama Papers leak in 2016, Nordea was caught having helped customers evade tax through the use of tax havens.


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