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MONEY

Denmark police receive 456 reports of fraud from the corona relief fund

The National Unit for Special Crime has received 456 reports of fraud from the corona relief packages since 1st April 2020, according to a press release from the Money Laundering Secretariat (Hvidvasksekretariatet).

Mobilepay App photographed on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
Illustration photo of the Mobilepay App. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The frauds and attempted frauds amount to 212 million kroner, although some of the scams were discovered before the fraudsters got the money. More than 28 million kroner has been recovered through 102 recovery operations.

According to Jørgen Andersen, deputy police inspector and head of the Money Laundering Secretariat, the task has been taken “very seriously” in the secretariat since the introduction of corona relief packages.

“And it has had a high priority with us as authorities. But also with the notifiers – here primarily banks and the accountants – and we sat down together quite quickly in a community.

“Here, we organised the effort in such a way that when banks and auditors sent notifications to us where there was a suspicion of misuse of schemes, we typically sent them within 24 hours to the authorities who paid money on these schemes”, Andersen says.

Companies or individuals should contact the Money Laundering Secretariat (Hvidvasksekretariatet) if they suspect money laundering or terrorist financing.

In October 2020, an eight-billion kroner stimulus package was agreed in parliament to help Danish businesses and cultural institutions hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The financial package also included a liquidity fund totalling 28 million kroner. 

READ ALSO: Denmark announces new coronavirus relief for businesses and culture

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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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