Body of ex-chief of Danske Bank's Estonian arm found

The body of Aivar Rehe, former manager of the Estonian arm of Danske Bank who was last seen leaving his home on Monday morning, was found on Wednesday morning, police said.

Rehe's body was found in Pirita, Tallinn, in the garden of his own home, spokesman for the police Kristjan Lukk told BNS.

Spokesperson for the police Marie Aava said in a press release some time later that the place where the body was found had been checked by Rehe's next-of-kin earlier. 

"There are no signs of violence on the body, nor is there any indication of an accident," Aava said. "To save next-of-kin, the Police and Border Guard Board will release no further details. Nor will an investigation be started. We thank everyone who rendered help to the police during the search and extend our condolences to the man's next-of-kin." 

Rehe is believed to have committed suicide between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

"The exact time of death will be ascertained by a forensic analysis," Lukk said.

The search for the ex-banker that had been underway in a forest in the area near Rehe's home in the Pirita district of Tallinn since Monday was discontinued for the night at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday.   

The police said Monday evening said they have reason to believe that there is a real threat to the life and health of the 56-year-old former banker.

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.

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