The former Danske Bank manager, who had blown whistle on the 200 billion-euro money laundering scandal in the small Estonian branch of the Bank, spoke to a number of US law enforcement agencies, raising shares in Denmark's largest lender, as he faced investigations in many parts of the world. .
The Danish bosses were allegedly involved with the alleged Howard Wilkinson – Russian clients and shell companies from Russian presidents Vladimir Putin's relatives, and interviews were held with several institutions, including the Ministry of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission. and Treasure's Financial Crimes Network or FinCEN, according to people familiar with the situation.
Wilkinson, a British citizen who will testify to Danish and EU parliaments earlier this week, has signed a confidentiality agreement with the bank, which had previously had to waive Danske's evidence. The bank allowed Mr. Wilkinson's lawyer every time he would meet the US authorities.
DoJ has launched an investigation into the largest money laundering plan that has emerged with more than the annual GDP of Estonia, which has passed from Russia and other former Soviet countries each year. The agency also examines the roles played by Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase in removing cross-border payments for the branch.
FinCEN, who has the power to order US banks to suspend cross-border payments for foreign lenders suspected of facilitating money laundering, has publicly expressed interest in the case.
Hukuk The Russian element is turning it into a high priority for the US, olan said John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia Law School in New York. Red If a prompt is internally rejected when it appears with credible information, it will certainly be of interest to DoJ. “
In a number of e-mails to the bank's senior management in Copenhagen, Mr. Wilkinson üst apparently Bay a limited liability partnership in the UK, called Lantana Trade, the & Putin family and the FSB Financial. He revealed how he possessed his beneficial owners, including Russia. intelligence agency. The Kremlin previously said to the FT: in President Putin has nothing to do with the bank. Krem
Wilkinson's warning was reported by Danske's internal audit team in 2014. However, the bank did not initiate a full investigation by the Danish newspaper Berlingske until 2017, when he began to report his Danske accounts used in money laundering schemes from Russia and Azerbaijan.
Collaborated UK lender Mr. Wilkinson, who once worked at HBOS, will present evidence to the Danish parliament on Monday along with Danske's interim CEO, Jesper Nielsen. Mr. Nielsen, the former CEO of the scandal, took over the reins after the overthrow of Thomas Borgen. Mr. Borgen was the head of international banking from 2009 to 2012, including responsibility for Baltic banking.
Danske also partially released Mr Wilkinson from the NDA to give evidence to the Danish parliament. However, according to lawyer Stephen Kohn, he is in particular facing the threat of criminal proceedings when he elaborates on his clients, in particular to lawmakers.
Mr. Kohn said that Mr. Wilkinson's testimony would not be privileged or protected from insult. In the meantime, the bank's disclosure contained a warning that it would not be able to abandon "mandatory" obligations under bank secrecy and data protection laws.
Daha It is unacceptable that Mr. Wilkinson, an exemplary employee, could face retaliation based on his testimony before the parliament, abil said Kohn. List We were informed that there were no legal protections for reporters who appeared before the assembly. This is an untenable position. If the members of the Parliament cannot obtain full information from the witnesses, it is impossible for the democracy to function properly. "
Danske, DoJ and SEC refused to comment. FinCEN did not request to comment.
Additional reporting in Washington by Kadhim Shubber