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Danske BankLaundered7bn eurofor Putin's cronies

After the publication of documentsbyBerlingske, Danske Bankstock dived3%, as there was a risk that the bank would be fined.

06.Jul.18 5:43 PM
By Shawn Highstraw


Danske BankLaundered7bn eurofor Putin's cronies
The largest bank in Denmarkhaslaundered seven billion euros from Russia in the scandalous case involving the murder ofthewhistleblowerSergeiMagnitsky. The Danish financial authoritiesarein a difficult situation, because they were the first tobe alertedfive years agobut did nothing about the problem of Russian dirty money.

The exposure wasbased onDanske Bankdocumentsthatthe publicationBerlingske got hold of. As it turned out, the bank laundered twice as much as it was reported in 2017. In total, the bank conducted 43,112 questionable transactions related toshellRussian companies registered in Caribbean offshores. Money was withdrawn from Russia through the Estonian branch of Danske Bankin the periodfrom 2007 to 2015. Most of the money was ultimately spent onposhreal estate, cars and diamonds.

All the companies in question, including Diamonds Forever International,Castlefront andMegacom Transit, are involved in fraud inRussiainvolcing the killing of thelawyer SergeiMagnitsky. In this episode alone, Russian officials, security chiefs and mafia leadersembezzled200 million euros from the Russian tax system in 2007.Magnitsky, a lawyer for the British hedge fund Hermitage Capital, exposed this crime andthrown into prison, tortured and beatento death.

"We found 20 accounts in Danske Bankconnectedto the transfer offundsfrom the 200 million euros thatMagnitskyexposed andkilled over," saidMagnitsky'sformer employer Bill Browder, who has longcampaigned for targeted sanctions against Russian human rights abusers.

He describedthese funds as "blood money"."The Danish authorities seem to be asleep at the switch and refused to open a criminal case when we first approached them in 2013 about criminal proceeds from theMagnitsky case flowing through Denmark,"Browdertold.

After the publication of documentsbyBerlingske, Danske Bankstock dived3%, as there was a risk that the bank would be fined. The bank'sCEO, ThomasBorgen, may also lose his job or even face charges, given the nature of the violations.

"It is very serious. It is unacceptable for such a large amount to be laundered and still kept on the accounts of Danske Bank.He vaguely said thatthe country's Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) was reviewing the information thatBerlingske reportedand could take "possible actions".

"This is the most famous case of money laundering around the world," commentedSydbank trader ChristianTatier.

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