Estonia claims share of any U.S. fines in money laundering scandal
06 Jul 2020

Estonia said on Friday that it wanted to receive a share of any fines imposed by the United States if banks are found guilty of money laundering in the Baltic nation in ongoing inquiries.

U.S. authorities are investigating Denmark’s largest bank Danske (DANSKE.CO), which was forced out of Estonia after it admitted that 200 billion euros ($226 billion) in suspicious payments had been made through its branch there.

“The reputation of the Estonian state has suffered greatly in several international money laundering cases in recent years,” Estonian Finance Minister Martin Helme said in a statement, which did not name any banks.

The money laundering allegations being investigated by the United States focused on money flows through Estonia, which has been a bridge between Russia and Europe.

Helme said in a statement that if penalties are imposed on banks as a result of the investigations then Estonia wanted to “participate as a state in the distribution of fines.”

By Tarmo Virki, Reuters, 3 July 2020

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