Swedish officials raid bank offices in money laundering case

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish authorities were raiding the headquarters of one of Sweden’s largest banks on Wednesday as part of an investigation into whether Swedbank was connected to a massive money laundering scandal in the Baltic countries.

Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority said chief prosecutor Thomas Langrot is probing whether 15 of Swedbank’s largest shareholders illegally received information about the bank’s connection to the money laundering scandal before Swedish television reported on the issue for the first time last month.

Swedbank confirmed the raid at its headquarters in near Stockholm.

“At this point of time, no individual or legal entity has been served suspicion of a crime,” the bank said in a statement. “We will cooperate with the authorities.”

Swedish broadcaster SVT had reported last month that Swedbank customers had been able to funnel at least 40 billion kronor ($4.3 billion) between Swedbank and Danske Bank in Estonia.

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On Tuesday, SVT also reported that an internal Swedbank report identified major breaches of anti-money laundering rules involving its business in Estonia. It said Swedbank had accepted customers who posed a high risk of money laundering and had “failed to report suspicious transactions and activities.”

The bank said the report was part of a wider external investigation that had been made available to authorities.

Estonia has ordered Danske Bank to shut its local subsidiary after the bank admitted massive amounts of money had been laundered.

Shares in Swedbank dropped nearly 7 percent in midday trading after news of the raid.

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