Estonia: Suspects in large-scale money laundering case plead not guilty
06 Jan 2021

The trial of entrepreneur Tiiu Jarviste and her two fellow accused in a large-scale money laundering case began at the Harju County Court on Tuesday with all of the accused pleading not guilty to the charges.

Facing trial in addition to Jarviste, 56, are also Aleksei Dremov, 40, and Andrii Danchak, 37. A third male suspect in the same investigation, Andrei Stsemelev, is believed to be hiding in the United States and has been put on the international wanted list.

Public prosecutor Sigrid Nurm gave an overview of the statement of charges, followed by opening speeches by Jarviste’s lawyer Oliver Naas, Dremov’s lawyer Dmitri Skoljar and Danchak’s lawyers Andres Simson and Stella Veber.

The trial is to continue on Wednesday with the examination of written evidence.

According to the charges lodged against Jarviste, Dremov and Danchak by the Office of the Prosecutor General on May 25, large-scale money laundering offenses had been committed by the trio through AS GFC Good Finance Company since May 2018.

According to the statement of charges, GFC Good Finance Company AS is a payment institution enabling predominantly non-resident customers to open accounts as well as make and mediate payments.

Jarviste, Dremov and Danchak are accused of laundering 2.88 million euros of dirty money. Pursuant to the company’s internal rules and the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, these transactions should not have been carried out.

Jarviste is additionally suspected of an attempt to embezzle close to eight million euros, according to public prosecutor Sigrid Nurm. Parallel proceedings in this matter had also been initiated in Latvia, and in order for the case to be handled more economically and prevent a double penalty, proceedings in the two states were joined and Estonia also took over the criminal case launched in Latvia.

No suspicions or charges have been lodged in the criminal case against Good Finance Company AS due to the company’s liquidation having been underway when the criminal proceedings began. As at the time, the company was no longer engaged in any business activity, its bankruptcy has not affected the criminal proceedings, Nurm said.

Read more at The Baltic Times

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