Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations


Friday, 03 July 2020

Estonia demands share of any US money laundering fines on Baltic banks

Estonia’s finance minister has said that the country wants a portion of any fines that the US imposes on banks that it finds guilty of money laundering in the country, according to reports.

Martin Helme reportedly said that Estonia should “participate as a state in the distribution of fines” because “as a country, we are the victims of this process”.

Allegations of money laundering in the Baltics have made headlines in recent years following the high-profile scandal at Denmark’s largest bank Danske Bank

The bank said in 2018 that it failed to check €200 billion in suspicious payments that flowed through its Estonian unit between 2007 and 2015. US, Danish and Estonian authorities are investigating the bank.

Japan requests extradition of Ghosn escape accomplices

Japan has formally asked the US to extradite Michael and Peter Taylor over allegations the father and son helped former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn flee the country while he was in custody and awaiting a trial for fraud offences.

Boston federal prosecutors told the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts on 2 July that the US Department of State had officially received the extradition request.

The US arrested the Taylors on Japan’s behalf in May for allegedly taking part in a scheme to smuggle Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon in December 2019. They deny wrongdoing.

In Japan, Ghosn is accused of embezzling up to €11 million from Nissan and its allied French company Renault, aggravated breach of trust and misstating his income.

He has consistently denied wrongdoing and accused the Japanese justice system of being “rigged”.

Singapore probes two companies linked to Wirecard

Singaporean police and the country’s financial regulator are conducting a joint probe into two companies, Citadelle Corporate Services and Senjo Group, in connection with the recent collapse of German payments company Wirecard.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the investigation into suspected false accounting on 3 July.

MAS said it opened the new probe after interviewing employees of both companies as part of a separate investigation it is conducting with Singapore’s accountancy regulator into “recent developments relating to Wirecard”.

Wirecard announced it was filing for bankruptcy on 25 June, a week after admitting that its auditors had been unable to account for €1.9 billion. Authorities in Germany, Mauritius, the Philippines and Austria have since announced they are investigating various aspects of the collapse.

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