Police say reason to believe life of missing Danske ex-manager Rehe in danger

he police said that there is reason to believe that the life of missing Aivar Rehe, former manager of the Estonian arm of Danske Bank last seen on Monday morning, is in danger.

Valdo Põder, head of operations at the North Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board, told the daily Postimees that the police have reason to believe that there is a real threat to the life and health of Aivar Rehe. According to Põder, this lies in the man's own behavior. «We are searching for him in place he usually went to walk the dog. Today, he went out without the dog and left his phone at home,» Põder said.

There are some 40 people, 17 of them volunteers, who are involved in the search. "It is not true that the police will only start searching for people once 24 hours have passed, if there is reason to believe that there is a threat to life and health, we will begin sooner," the head of operations said. According to Põder, it has not yet been decided how long after dark the search will continue, but if the man is not found on Monday, the search will definitely continue on Tuesday. Põder added that it is good that it is not raining as finding him is more likely when it is dry and Rehe himself will be able to manage better in the woods when it is dry.

The police are asking for help in determining the whereabouts of 56-year-old Aivar Rehe. Rehe left his home in the Kloostrimetsa district of Tallinn's Pirita district at 10 a.m. on Monday morning and those closest to him have no information regarding his current location.

Rehe is 180 centimeters tall and has short dark hair with hints of gray. He may be wearing a black sweatshirt and black sweatpants with the Collistar logo as well as black sneakers with white soles.

The police are asking for everyone who have seen him or have information regarding his possible location to call 112.

Rehe, who was the head of Danske Bank Estonia during the years of alleged money laundering involving some 200 billion euros of suspicious transactions that passed through the Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, told Postimees in an interview in March of this year that while he feels responsible, he also believes Danske's anti-money laundering measures were sufficient at that time.

Criminal proceedings regarding Danske's Estonian arm were launched in November 2017. The Office of the Prosecutor General affirmed to Postimees that no suspicions have been brought against Rehe and that he is not connected with the procedural activities of the criminal investigation regarding the bank. To date, altogether 10 former employees of Danske are suspected of extensive money laundering. One person is suspected of taking a bribe, while one is suspected of facilitating bribery. 

Aivar Rehe.

PHOTO: Tairo Lutter