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Danske Bank scandal: National Crime Agency launches probe into mystery UK entity linked to bank



Danske Bank
Bank sign is seen at the bank’s Estonian branch in Tallinn,
Estonia August 3, 2018.


  • A criminal investigation has been launched into a
    mystery UK entity believed to be involved in the massive money
    laundering scandal centered around Danske Bank.
  • The UK’s National Crime Agency said it was “aware of
    the use of UK registered companies in this case and has related
    ongoing operational activity.”
  • Danske Bank’s money laundering scandal relates to
    non-resident transactions at its Estonian branch, and could
    have involved as many as $235 billion worth of
  • CEO Thomas Borgen resigned from the helm of the bank
    earlier this week as a result of the scandal.

The British entity tasked with dealing with serious and organised
crimes has launched a probe into a mystery UK firm that is
potentially linked to the massive money laundering scandal which
this week
forced the resignation of Danske Bank’s CEO.

It was reported overnight that the National Crime Agency has
launched a criminal investigation into a UK entity which is
believed to have links with the Estonian branch of Denmark’s
biggest bank, which is at the centre of the scandal that could
potential have involved $235 billion of cash flows.

Investigations centre on a “UK-registered limited
liability partnership, or LLP,”
according to a report from the Financial Times,
which cites
people familiar with the investigation. The entity in question
has not been named.

“The NCA is aware of the use of UK registered companies in this
case and has related ongoing operational activity,” the National
Crime Agency said in a statement provided to the FT.

“The threat posed by the use of UK company structures as a route
for money laundering is widely recognised and the NCA is working
with partners across government to restrict the ability of
criminals to use them in this way,” it added, declining to
comment further.

The investigation into suspicious transactions at Danske Bank’s
Estonian branch centers on so-called nonresident transactions —
effectively transactions done by people not based in Estonia but
using the bank’s facilities there.

It said it had identified about 10,000 customers who fit the
profile of nonresidents, with 6,200 of those fitting what the
bank called “the most risk indicators.” Of these customers,
Danske Bank said, the “vast majority have been found to be

It did, however, emphasize that just because a customer had “been
found to have suspicious characteristics does not mean that there
is a basis for considering all payments in which the customer in
question was involved to be suspicious.”

As well as the initial 10,000 customers, a further 5,000
customers with nonresident characteristics have also been

In total, Danske Bank says, these 15,000 customers undertook
about 9.5 million payments, with the total value of the money
flowing about 200 billion euros, or $234 billion.

Analysts believe that
the scandal could end up costing Danske Bank as much as $8
billion in fines,
if it is found to have committed any

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