Estonian former executive of troubled Danske Bank found dead

The former head of the Estonian branch of Denmark's scandal-plagued Danske Bank has been found dead, police said Wednesday.

Estonian former executive of troubled Danske Bank found dead
Aivar Rehe, the former head of the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, has died aged 56. Photo: Tairo Lutter/TT/Ritzau Scanpix

Police found the body of Aivar Rehe, 56, in his yard on Wednesday, two days after he had last been seen.

“There are no marks of violence on the body and nothing points to an accident,” police spokeswoman Marie Aava told reporters.

They would be releasing no further details, so as to spare the family, she said. “Nor will there by an inquest,” she added.

This has led local media to speculate that Rehe had died by suicide.

Rehe was the head of Danske Bank's Estonian branch from 2008 to 2015, two years before it found itself at the centre of a money-laundering scandal.

The bank is under investigation in Estonia, Denmark, the US, Britain and France, accused of helping launder about 209 billion euros, primarily by Russians, through its branch in Estonia between 2007 and 2015.

Rehe was not considered a suspect in the investigation. But Estonian police detained 10 other former employees of the bank last year and went on to charge them all with money-laundering.

Earlier this year, Rehe had said he thought the anti-money laundering measures taken by Dansk Bank had been sufficient at the time, but that he nevertheless felt responsible for what had happened.

READ ALSO: The Danske Bank money laundering scandal

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish police drop money laundering case against Danske Bank directors

Denmark’s economic crime unit SØIK has dropped potential charges for money laundering against three leading former directors of Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, but investigation of the bank itself continues.

Danish police drop money laundering case against Danske Bank directors
File photo: Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The three directors, Thomas Borgen, Henrik Ramlau-Hansen and Lars Stensgaard Mørch were investigated in relation to a scandal involving large-scale money laundering at the Estonian division of the bank.

Each of the three confirmed to newspaper Børsen that charges have been dropped.

In a written statement to media, SØIK said it had not uncovered “evidence that any individual has shown negligence to such an extent that it can be characterised as gross” and that the law had therefore not been broken.

“For an individual to be convicted under money laundering laws, they must have committed gross negligence. In this case we have conducted a vert comprehensive and thorough investigation with a number of investigative steps,” acting head of SØIK Per Flig also said in the statement.

The bank itself is still under investigation for possible breach of money laundering laws, however, Flig noted.

READ ALSO: US files lawsuit against scandal-hit Danske Bank

No individuals now remain under suspicion in the investigation, meaning SØIK has dropped cases against all leading bank executive who were suspected by police in March 2019.

Around 1,500 billion kroner from foreign customers flowed through the Estonian division of Danske Bank between 2007 and 2015, an investigation found.

A large proportion of that money is considered to be suspicious. The scandal resulted in Borgen’s resignation as CEO and the bank closed its Estonian branch in 2019.

READ ALSO: More on the Danske Bank money laundering scandal