Swedish Broadcaster Alleges Fincen Leaks Tie SEB to $930 Million of Laundered Money
By Dominic Chopping
STOCKHOLM--Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB might
have been used to launder around 8.2 billion Swedish kronor ($930
million) through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2016, Swedish
national broadcaster SVT claimed in a report late Tuesday.
TV news show Uppdrag Granskning has made several
money-laundering claims in recent years and in its latest
investigation, it claims that around 57 SEB clients, mostly from
the Baltic states, exhibited classic characteristics of suspected
money laundering according to the so-called Fincen leaks.
Among the suspected customers are some the show claims are
connected to corrupt Russian politicians and organized crime, it
The claim comes after Uppdrag Granskning viewed U.S. suspicious
activity reports that were filed by banks to the U.S. Financial
Crimes Enforcement Network, known as Fincen, that were recently
leaked. The reports allegedly show that several global banks moved
large sums of illicit funds, despite red flags about the origins of
In response to the Fincen leaks, SEB said earlier this week that
the suspicious activity reports are police intelligence material
that banks aren't allowed to comment on and it is illegal for a
bank to comment on individual potential customers.
"It is also important to note that the leak does not necessarily
show the full picture of the story, partly because it only provides
a subset of the [suspicious activity reports] reported to the U.S.
government," SEB said.
"As a bank, we do our utmost to ensure that we are not exploited
and to promptly report suspected money laundering. There are no
perfect systems, but we are constantly sharpening our abilities to
prevent, detect and report, and in that work we will never be
Uppdrag Granskning was first to report last year that billions
of dollars of illicit funds might have passed through Swedbank AB's
Estonian branch, and also claimed it had found about 194 clients at
SEB that it suspected of using the bank to launder money through
Swedish and Baltic accounts.
Both banks were subsequently investigated by the Swedish
Financial Supervisory Authority and found to lack sufficient
anti-money-laundering governance, controls and resources at their
Baltic subsidiaries. The FSA fined Swedbank SEK4 billion and SEB
The FSA last week opened a fresh probe into Swedbank for
suspected breaches of market-abuse regulations.
Write to Dominic Chopping at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 23, 2020 02:55 ET (06:55 GMT)
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