Swedbank AB announced that its Estonian unit is a suspect in a money-laundering investigation relating to billions of dollars in suspicious transactions. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Swedish broadcaster reported the suspicious transactions and the bank’s board fired Chief Executive Birgitte Bonneson a month after that report aired and following a raid by Swedish police on the bank’s headquarters. According to news reports Russian oligarch Mikhail Abyzov set up a network of 70 offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Singapore, and Belize and held accounts in Swedbank Estonia where a client manager helped move funds. Some companies were used to transfer shares from energy deals according to the news accounts. In 1995, Abyzov founded ORTEK, a Russian fuel, and energy company, and supplied fuel to Siberia in exchange for a 19.5% stake in an energy company that controlled five thermal power plants.
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