The Danish financial institution Danske Bank has been embroiled in a massive money-laundering scandal associated with an Estonian branch that allegedly laundered $223 billion in an eight-year period. According to documents uncovered this week stemming from 2012, Danske Bank’s Estonian branch let a select group of clients from Russia convert their money into gold bullion in order to help hide funds.
Danske Bank’s Estonian Branch Laundered Funds With Gold Bullion
Danske Bank has been involved in a money-laundering conspiracy for quite some time as a branch from Estonia has been accused of funneling billions of funds to offshore clients. The bank, headquartered in Copenhagen, is the largest financial institution in Denmark and the company’s retail banks cover 5 million customers. Investigators detail that between 2007 through 2015 the Estonian Danske Bank branch sent $223 billion suspicious payments.
The large-scale money laundering scandal continues to show the public that financial incumbents use all types of methods to hide their activities. This week’s report disclosed that Denmark’s biggest lender let certain customers, mostly from Russia, hide their wealth using gold bars. The bank’s Estonian branch let the clients “convert their money into gold bars and coins, according to the documents, which date back to the middle of 2012,” the journalists Irina Reznik, Ott Ummelas, and Frances Schwartzkopff wrote.
The amount of gold the Estonian Danske Bank branch managed to transfer is unknown, but internal documents say that “local private banking clients” used the service alongside other selected customers. The research notes that if the customer bought 250 grams of gold or more, they could obtain the gold without certificates.