Money laundering took on a new meaning this past week after Dutch police arrested a man who had hidden $400,000 in cash inside the drum of a washing machine.
According to a report in CNN, Dutch police were conducting a raid for unregistered residents in western Amsterdam and found the money in the washing machine. The man present in the home was arrested on suspicion of money laundering, noted CNN. “The municipal administration revealed that no one lived at the address,” the police told CNN in a statement. “When the police did a search through the house they found €350,000 hidden in the washing machine.” The Dutch police also found several mobile phones, a firearm and money counting machines. The 24-year-old suspect was not named, noted the report. The raid was part of an investigation into housing fraud, money laundering, and other crimes.
Money laundering has been in the spotlight in recent months ever since reports broke that $150 million may have been laundered through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, one of Denmark’s largest banks. It is being investigated over what has been termed “massive money laundering flows” from Russia and several former Soviet states. The agencies probing the alleged incident include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of the Treasury and the DOJ. The probes are ongoing and relate to transactions tied to the bank’s Estonian branch — and focus on $150 million that made its way through accounts of non-Estonian holders. The scandal also has implication in the U.S., with a lawyer for the whistleblower in the Danske Bank money laundering scandal warning recently that investigators should look into whether major Western banks were involved. Stephen Kohn, who is representing Danske whistleblower Howard Wilkinson, told Reuters that Danske may be only a small player in the scandal. “It looks like the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “The problem is far bigger than has been reported … If this is properly investigated, and the money followed all the way to the end — it all went to large, multinational Western financial institutions, and either the U.S. government or other authorities have the ability to track down every transfer and any account.”