Safety and Security

Hunt Continues For Missing Ex-Danske Bank Exec

Ex Danske Bank Exec Still Missing In Estonia

Aivar Rehe, the 56-year-old former executive of Danske Bank who was in charge during a 200 billion euro money laundering operation that made global headlines, has been missing for a second day in Estonia, according to a report by the Financial Times.

He was reported missing by members of his family on Monday (Sept. 23) morning in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

Police have said they don’t suspect any third-party involvement, and they believe his life could be in danger. The search was paused overnight but resumed on Tuesday morning, with the aid of search dogs and drones.

Danske Bank has been under a criminal probe from not only Estonia, but the United States, Denmark and France, over the scandal which saw money from former Soviet states, like Russia and Moldova, moved through the Estonian branch of the bank.

Rehe ran the bank’s operations in the country from 2006 until 2015, and he’s held the line that regardless of the scandal, the bank’s anti-money laundering and customer checking procedures were all up to par.

He reportedly left for a walk without his dog or mobile phone, which was unusual for him.

“We have reason to believe that his life and health may be in danger right now,” a senior police officer told local media.

There are at least 10 suspects in the crime so far, although some are lower-ranking employees from the branch. Rehe is not a suspect.

Danske’s former group chief executive, Thomas Borgen, as well as former chief financial officer, Henrik Ramlau-Hansen, and a former chairman of Denmark’s financial regulator have all been charged by Danish prosecutors.

Estonia has been shaken by the scandal, which came from a bank it had hoped would help the country’s financial sector. Estonian regulators ordered Danske to stop serving non-residents, and then last year it forced the bank to close down completely in the country.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.