Danske Bank Laundered Money for Ukrainian Arms Traffickers in North Korea and Iran

February 24, 2019

Author: 

Graham Stack

Publication: 

bne Intellinews

Related Country: 

  • New Zealand
  • North Korea
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine

Danske Bank, which is under scrutiny for a $240 billion Russian money laundering scandal, may have laundered money for Ukrainian arms dealers, according to an investigation. A plane charted by New Zealand shell company SP Trading Ltd, which banked with the Danske branch in Estonia, was caught trying to transport 40 tonnes of weaponry from North Korea to Iran in December 2009. The cargo was seized at the Bangkok airport. The transaction was orchestrated by Iurii Lunov, a Ukrainian citizen, and Aleksandr Zykov, a Kazakh citizen. Both men were involved in an earlier transfer of cruise missiles from Ukraine to China and Iran, in which a firm named "SP Trade" was also used. U.N. investigators alerted Danske Bank in 2010 to the risk from providing banking services to shell companies and arms traders.