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Estonia's interior minister calls for enquiry into banker's death

Estonia's interior minister calls for enquiry into banker's death
FILE PHOTO - Estonia's Interior Minister Mart Helme of far-right EKRE Party speaks to media after the swearing-in of the incoming coalition government in Tallinn, Estonia April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins -
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INTS KALNINS(Reuters)
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TALLINN (Reuters) – Estonia’s interior minister on Sunday called for an enquiry into the death of the former head of Danske Bank’s Estonian branch, which is at the centre of investigations into the world’s largest money laundering scandal.

Last week, police in Estonia discovered the body of Aivar Rehe, who ran the Danish bank’s Estonian business between 2007 and 2015 and had been among those questioned as a witness in a probe by Estonian prosecutors.

Police said at the time Rehe’s death would not be investigated.

Interior minister Mart Helme said he planned to push for a full investigation of Rehe’s death after he receives a report on Sept 30 on the police actions earlier this week.

“I will wait for the report on Monday and then the next steps will follow. This has to be cleared to the public,” Helme said in his party’s weekly radio show.

“A person has died and the circumstances of his death have to be investigated to the level of all details and they have to be presented to the public to avoid all doubts,” Helme said.

Helme is head of the far-right EKRE party which joined a coalition cabinet for the first time after Estonia’s March elections.

Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest lender, is under investigation in several countries, including the United States, Denmark, Britain and Estonia, over suspicious payments totalling 200 billion euros (£178.03 billion) which were moved through its tiny Estonian branch during the period Rehe was in charge.

Danske Bank’s is the largest in a series of European money laundering scandals, stretching from Latvia to Sweden.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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