[h/t to NCMountainGirl for this update tip]
Update: “How one man uncovered a money-laundering scheme involving $230 billion.”
In case you missed it, on September 24, 2018 TNB Morning Canary ran the story: Massive Money Laundering Scandal Rocks Denmark, EU.
It was the tale about one of Denmark’s largest financial institution Danske Bank about to be in the middle of what could be Europe’s biggest money-laundering scandal yet that was going to hit the European Union, threatening Denmark’s AAA credit rating and “could hurt the reputation of Denmark’s entire financial system,” according to an LA Times report at the time.
“And at the epicenter is its tiny Estonian unit, which the bank reported on Wednesday handled as much as $234 billion of funds from 2007 to 2015 — a figure that’s almost nine times the Baltic nation’s gross domestic product.”
From 2007 to 2015 the flow converted into EUR for the 6,200 customers reviewed equaled 200 billion Euros. Investigators say the majority of these transactions are believed to be suspicious. Further, thousands of more customers — those presenting the fewest risk factors — still remain to be investigated.
In addition, the report notes several notorious money laundering schemes allegedly utilized the Estonian branch, including:
1) Russian shell companies processed funds for a member of Putin’s family and FSB;
2) former Italian member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council for Europe, Luca Volontè, processed a bribe from Azerbaijani officials in exchange for orchestrating a 2013 defeat of a resolution regarding political prisoners in Azerbaijan; and
3) allegations made by Hermitage Capital Management that high-ranking officials in the Russian Government laundered $230 million from the tax fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.
The report does not provide conclusive discussions of these events.Money Laundering Watch: September 20, 2018
For the rest of the story read, here.
Now for more of the story: Enter Howard Wilkinson.
“It wasn’t Howard Wilkinson’s job to investigate his bank’s clients. It was his job “to run the market trading side of the bank for the Baltic region, but that changed almost by accident when a collegue asked him for some help getting information about a customer registered in the United Kingdom as Lantana Trade LLP” that would led Wilkinson “to find possibly the biggest money-laundering case in history,” according to a 60 Minutes report.
Wilkinson, a Briton himself, knew he could check the firm’s assets and income on the British business registry. When he did so, Lantana was listed as dormant, but he knew by looking at their account at the bank, they were anything but dormant and conducting transactions worth multiple millions of dollars a day.
The company also had connections to remote exotic places known for banking secrecy and money laundering. “A UK company with a registered office in North London with an account in an Estonian bank that’s actually run by Russians and the partners, the owners, are from the Seychelles and the Marshall Islands,” says Wilkinson.