Prosecutor General presenting Russia money laundering evidence to Riigikogu

Prosecutor General Lavly Perling will present an overview of requests for legal help, originating from the Russian Federation, to the Riigikogu on Tuesday. Letters from Russian authorities in 2012 and 2014 reportedly made clear reference to money laundering activity and requested witness input.

According to business daily Äripäev, Ms Perling confirmed the letters contained direct reference to money laundering but were confidential and their contents not originally intended for disclosure.

Additionally, former state prosecutor Norman Aas is due to present evidence to the Riigikogu's Legal Affairs Committee on concerns raised by American-born British businessman Bill Browder about illicit money flows via the Estonian branch of Danske Bank.

Open-minded and cooperative

Mr Browder was denied re-entry into Russia in 2005 after blowing the whistle on corruption there; he had previously been involved in investment activities in Russia. A lawyer acting for his company, Sergei Magnitsky, was effectively tortured to death in Russian prisons, dying in November 2009. The incident sparked reactive legal measures targeting those involved, the Magnitsky Act 2012, in the US, and similar legislation in other jurisdictions.

Over €200 billion in laundered money is thought to have passed via Danske's Estonian branch over several years; the scale of activity came to light over the course of 2018 and Lavly Perling herself opened a criminal investigation into the branch in July.

Chairman of the Riigikogu's Legal Affairs Committee Jaanus Karilaid (Centre), praised Ms Perling's office for ''...becoming open minded and cooperative," last week.

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