Ex-Danske CEO Borgen charged over money laundering case: report

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish prosecutors have charged Thomas Borgen, former chief executive of Danske Bank, over his involvement in one of the world’s biggest money laundering scandals, newspaper Borsen reported on Tuesday, citing his lawyer.

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Borgen is the first person to be charged in a case that involves suspicious transactions of some 200 billion euros ($224 billion) that passed through Danske Bank’s Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

Denmark’s biggest bank is being investigated by authorities in several other countries including the United States, where it could face major fines.

Shares in Danske Bank have more than halved since March last year, and on Tuesday fell to their lowest since August 2013 following the Borsen report, which did not specify the nature of the charges against the bank’s former CEO.

Borgen, who had been in charge of Danske Bank’s international operations, including Estonia, between 2009 and 2012, resigned in September after an investigation revealed the scale of the suspicious payments.

Prosecutors raided Borgen’s home on March 12, the report quoted the lawyer as saying.

Borsen also cited unnamed sources as saying the Danish prosecutor had charged at least two other former managers at Danske Bank in relation to the money laundering case, but did not give any names.

Borgen and his lawyer did not respond to calls, while the prosecutor and Danske Bank both declined to comment.

Denmark’s state prosecutor filed preliminary charges against Danske Bank itself in November for alleged violations of the country’s anti-money laundering act in relation to its Estonian branch. The prosecutor said at the time he would clarify whether individuals could be held responsible.

The money laundering scandal has spread to Sweden where Swedbank in March dismissed its chief executive over allegations its Baltic accounts were used to launder money.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Dale Hudson/Keith Weir/Alexander Smith