July 12, 2018 / 3:26 PM / 2 months ago

Fund manager and Kremlin critic files criminal complaint against Danske Bank

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A criminal complaint against Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) over alleged money laundering at its Estonian branch has been filed by Bill Browder, once the biggest foreign money manager in Russia who is now campaigning to expose corruption.

FILE PHOTO: A logo for Denmark's Danske Bank is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

Browder, who leads a campaign against Russian officials he blames for the 2009 death of his Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky while investigating fraud, said on Twitter that he had filed a complaint with the Danish law enforcement authorities.

Danske Bank declined to comment. It has admitted to flaws in its anti money-laundering controls in Estonia and launched its own investigation into the case.

In June, Latvian authorities said they were examining an allegation that a failed bank handled money from a Russian fraud uncovered by Browder.

Denmark’s State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime will still have to decide whether to pursue an investigation. The prosecutor was not immediately reachable for comment when contacted by Reuters.

The criminal complaint was also sent to Denmark’s business minister Rasmus Jarlov, a picture of the letter on Browder’s Twitter profile showed.

Last week, Jarlov said a newspaper report alleging Danske Bank laundered up to $8.3 billion through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015 could prompt the Danish financial watchdog to open a new investigation.

Shares in Danske Bank have fallen more than 20 percent over the last four months, as the money laundering scandal has unraveled.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Evans

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