13:50 27.02.2019

Swedbank accounts in Lithuania could be used to transfer money to Yanukovych

3 min read
Swedbank accounts in Lithuania could be used to transfer money to Yanukovych

Some funds, which Ukrainian law enforcement agencies consider belonging to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, arrived to him through an account in the Lithuanian branch of Swedbank, the 15min.lt news portal reported on Wednesday.

According to the portal, data collected by the news portal and Swedish SVT TV channel show that an offshore company affiliated with Yanukovych had an account in Swedbank in Lithuanian from 2004 through 2014.

It is reported that suspicious payments are associated with a million retainer, which the Ukrainian president allegedly received for the publication of his book giving rise to a lot of doubts.

The amount that Ukrainian officials are interested in is EUR 3.7 million. However, according to the portal, this is only a small part of the funds that went through the account of the offshore company that used Swedbank's account in Lithuania.

"We will assist the Swedish and Estonian oversight agencies in conducting an investigation related to Swedbank, therefore we cannot comment on information about individual companies or individuals so as not to harm the investigation itself," Director of the Bank of Lithuania Supervision Service Vytautas Valvonis told BNS, commenting on the information on Yanukovych.

Lithuanian Swedbank does not comment on this information either, noting that its parent bank hired the Forensic Risk Alliance analytical consulting center to investigate possible cases of money laundering.

"At the moment we are not able to disclose any specific information that would be part of this investigation. The bank has pledged to comply with the requirements of confidentiality," Saulius Abraškevičius, representative of the Lithuanian Swedbank for public relations, told BNS.

He said that the bank's activities in preventing money laundering are guided by the criteria of suspicion and typologies of criminal schemes established by the Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS).

"Additional information is required to confirm or refute the allegations, communication with the client is under way. If the suspicions remain, the information is transmitted to the FCIS. Cooperation between the bank and the FCIS is regulated by law, the facts are classified," Abraškevičius said.

According to media reports, Swedbank may be involved in large-scale money laundering operations involving the Baltic branches of Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark. SVT on February 19 reported that the total amount of transfers between suspicious accounts in Swedbank and Danske branches in the Baltic countries is estimated at no less than SEK 40 billion (EUR 3.8 billion). Money transfers, allegedly used for money laundering, were made in the period 2007-2015.

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