Lithuania’s Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka called on the eurozone and the European Union to establish a single anti-money laundering system after a money laundering scandal hit the Swedish banking group Swedbank on February 20.
According to a Swedish Television (SVT) report, financial authorities have been alerted to suspicious transactions worth at least 40 billion Swedish crowns (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) by 50 clients between Swedbank and Danske Bank in the Baltic states between 2007 and 2015.
“We see that recent events in Latvia and Estonia, as well as in other countries, have a very strong nature of internationality, that’s why a joint response from the EU is needed,” said Šapoka.
In recent years, Lithuania, a small country with a population of less than 3 million, as well as two other Baltic states have found themselves on center stage when money laundering scandals had struck the Nordic banks, which dominate in the Baltics.
Swedbank controls Lithuania’s largest bank (Swedbank subsidiary) by assets.
“The situation in Lithuania cannot be compared to the situation in Latvia and Estonia, which had large-scale money laundering cases,” the minister told local media.
“In Lithuania, there are no such cases,” Šapoka said, adding that his country pays serious attention to fight against money laundering.