Swedish Authorities Say Expanded Probe Into Swedbank to Include Possible Fraud

Swedish Authorities Say Expanded Probe Into Swedbank to Include Possible Fraud

The Swedish Economic Crime Authority (EBM) said it had expanded its probe into Swedbank to include possible fraud, suggesting that the bank might have been aware of the money laundering schemes it was allegedly involved in.

“The existing information creates the impression that Swedbank might have distributed confusing information among members of the public and market players concerning its real knowledge of the possible money laundering. The further investigation will show if this concerns fraud and if so, [it will show] who is responsible for this”, chief prosecutor Thomas Langrot said in a press release on Wednesday.

The scandal involving Swedbank erupted in February, when the local SVT broadcaster published its investigation, alleging that the bank had been engaged in money laundering schemes through its Estonian branch.

Swedish media reported on Wednesday that the law enforcement had raided the Swedbank’s headquarters in Stockholm. Moreover, the US authorities have launched a money-laundering probe into the bank over its alleged links to Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Mossack Fonseca became high-profile in after the release of the so-called Panama Papers in 2016. The documents alleged that a number of political leaders and large companies across the globe were involved in offshore schemes. 

Authorities of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also launched their probes into Swedbank.

Last week, the bank published a third-party audit report showing it had taken action to prevent money laundering.

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