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CRIME

Denmark criminalises social media impersonation of others

It is now against the law in Denmark to create a social media profile which looks like it belongs to another person.

Illustration photo of social media
Illustration photo. Denmark has made it illegal to impersonate another person using a social media profile. Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

A large majority in the country’s parliament passed the new law on Thursday, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.

“It is a breach of personal boundaries and deeply unpleasant to have one’s identity misused on social media. We as a society must not accept this type of behaviour and we must give better protection to victims,” Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup said in the statement.

“That’s why I’m very satisfied that a broad majority in parliament has today voted to criminalise misuse of identity online, so the law keeps up with the times and clearly underlines the seriousness of the crime,” he said.

The issue of online impersonation has become more prominent in Denmark in recent months. That is in no small part due to coverage of the issue by national broadcaster DR, which told victims’ stories and confronted online impersonators in documentary programmes including 100 falske forelskelser (roughly, ‘100 Fake Infatuations’) and Den falske caster (‘The Fake Casting Agent’).

Under current law, it is not illegal to create a profile on social media which impersonates another person unless there is criminal intent. That changes under the new law, which takes effect on April 1st.

It will also be illegal to use another person’s picture or video of them with the intention of manipulating their actions in an “unreasonable manner” under to the new law.

Conviction under the law can result in a fine or prison sentence up to six months.

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CRIME

Danish court jails woman in 4 billion euro money laundering case

A Danish court on Thursday sentenced a woman to jail for attempting to launder nearly four billion euros, the largest case of money-laundering in the Nordic country's history.

Danish court jails woman in 4 billion euro money laundering case

The 49-year-old Lithuanian woman had confessed to the crime in police interviews, Denmark’s Prosecution Service said in a statement.

Between December 2008 and March 2016, nearly four billion euros were funnelled through a series of companies, all of which had accounts in Danske Bank’s Estonian branch.

“This is the largest amount we have seen in a money laundering case brought before a court in Denmark,” special prosecutor Lisette Jørgensen said in a statement.

“The woman had a role in a large money laundering complex built around 40 Danish limited partnerships,” Jorgensen added.

Using her expertise, she “made it possible for the companies to move money around in order to disguise their illegal origins”, the prosecutor said.

According to the prosecution service, two other defendants in the case have also been linked to the companies. 

One is a 49-year-old former Russian citizen who is in custody after she was extradited from the UK in December 2021, and the other is a 56-year-old Lithuanian man living in Denmark.

The Lithuanian woman sentenced Thursday was given three years and 11 months in prison for laundering millions in a separate case. 

Together with Thursday’s verdict, her total sentence is eight years in jail.

Prosecutors also said the case is connected a larger scandal involving Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest.

The bank is still recovering after it became embroiled in criminal investigations in several countries over some 200 billion euros in transfers that passed through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, involving some 15,000 foreign clients, many Russian.

READ ALSO: Danish police drop money laundering case against Danske Bank directors

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