There has been another death of a banker, again an apparent "suicide", this time in Tallinn, Estonia. The banker, Aivar Rehe, was found dead in his own backyard. But there's a catch here, and needless to say, it's the subject of today's high octane speculation (our thanks to all of you who shared this article):
The first few paragraphs of this New York Times article by Jack Ewing say it all:
FRANKFURT — Aivar Rehe was once one of Estonia’s most prominent bankers, the chief executive of Danske Bank’s unit in Tallinn and an integral part of the former Soviet state’s transition to a free-market economy.
But when investigators revealed last year that customers from Russia and Eastern Europe had used the Danske subsidiary to launder billions of dollars in dirty money, Mr. Rehe inevitably shared the blame. The money laundering, from 2007 to 2015, took place on his watch.
On Wednesday, Mr. Rehe was found dead, an apparent suicide, in his backyard in Tallinn, the Estonian police said.
Mr. Rehe, 56, had been the focus of an intensive search since Monday when his family reported him missing from his home. (Emphasis added)
Then, in the following Zero Hedge article (again, thanks to all of you who passed this along), we read this:
Danske Bank's Estonian branch is at the heart of one of the largest money-laundering scandals, with €200 billion ($220 billion) of suspicious funds flowing from Russia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan, for at least a decade. The amount of money that was transferred was equivalent to 10 times Estonia's GDP, mostly originating from Russia.(Emphasis added)
And from the NY Times article once again, there's this:
The police said there was no sign of foul play, and prosecutors said Mr. Rehe was not a suspect in their criminal investigation of the money laundering. Still, his death focused renewed attention on money-laundering allegations that have tainted the previously upright image of Scandinavian banking; led to official investigations in Sweden, Germany and the United States; and even threatened the economies of the Baltic countries.
The scope of the investigations widened Wednesday when prosecutors in Frankfurt confirmed that they were investigating Deutsche Bank’s role as an intermediary that helped Danske Bank process transactions in United States dollars for suspect customers. The New York Times has reported that Danske Bank was part of a federal investigation of whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes.(Emphasis added)
In Tallinn, as many as 50 police officers and volunteers had searched for Mr. Rehe before his body was found Wednesday morning, the authorities said. He had left his home without his cellphone or wallet, and the police considered him a suicide risk. Mr. Rehe’s family had previously searched the area where he was found, said Marianne Ubaleht, senior press officer for the Estonian Police and Border Guard.
The police are not investigating Mr. Rehe’s death further, according to a police statement. Ms. Ubaleht would not comment on how Mr. Rehe had died. The police were still investigating what he had done and where he had gone between Monday and Wednesday, she said. (Emphasis added)
Mr. Rehe was not considered a suspect in the criminal investigation, a spokeswoman for Estonian prosecutors said. However, he supervised the bank from 2006 to 2015, and from 2007 to 2015 there were “major deficiencies in controls and governance that made it possible to use Danske Bank’s branch in Estonia for criminal activities such as money laundering,” the bank said in a 2017 statement.
So what do we have? Consider this list:
1) Mr. Rehe disappears from Monday to Wednesday, and his body is found Wednesday;
2) He's considered a suicide risk (and notably, no reason is given for this);
3) When he disappears, he does not take his wallet nor his cellphone, in other words, he went "somewhere" and did not wish to be tracked or traced;
4) An "intensive search" is launched, but he is found dead in his own backyard(!);
5) He presided over the Estonian operations of Danske bank from 2007 to 2015, during a period that money laundering operations were conducted through the bank, prompting the question, "How does the head of a bank not know about such operations?";
6) Some of the money laundering involved either Russia or former Soviet territories;
7) The whole operation is connected to Deutsche Bank, which looks like it's fast becoming the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International, or as some people called it, the Bank of Crooks and Criminals International) of the 2000s.
So, permit me to crawl to the end of the twig of our trademark High Octane Speculation once again. It would appear that Mr. Rehe may have gone to a private meeting to which he did not wish to be tracked, nor monitored covertly while taking it, hence his not having his cellphone. The same might apply to leaving his wallet, with its credit cards. The meeting does not go well, and Mr. Rehe is "Epsteined." And there is a potential motive ready to hand for "Epsteining" him: as the chief operating officer of Dankse Bank's operations in Estonia during the crucial period of the alleged money-laundering, he simply knew too much. As an alternative, perhaps Mr. Rehe did commit suicide, but again, only after taking whatever meeting he may have attended, which did not "go well." Perhaps he was even given "the Rommel option."
This much, at least, would appear to be rather obvious implications of the story.
But there is something else, and that's the timing of his tenure vis-a-vis those money laundering operations: 2007-2015. Notably, this would place the operations within the time frame of the run-up to the 2008 bailouts, and their fallout (which we're still dealing with). Recall, for a moment, that during those Congressional hearings, one of the things that the banksters insisted upon was both being bailed out, and that they could not tolerate any oversight from Congress or anyone else of what they planned to do with all that money. At the time, I commented that this behavior is that of people in a panic, of people with, perhaps, a gun of some sort being held to their head. You know, this sort of thing: "pay us the ransom money, but absolutely no cops. If we see any, the deal is off." Since that time, we've seen story after story about missing money, lots of missing money. It's this coincidence of the timing of the alleged money-laundering at Dankse Bank's Estonian operations that makes me suspect that perhaps the story about Russia, Moldavia and so on, while perhaps true, may be a bit of deliberate deflection from much larger issues, namely, that the Deutsche Bank-Danske Bank relationship may be but one spoke in a much larger wheel of where some of that bailout money may have flowed. In this connection, the NY Times article notes that several banks terminated relationships with banks in the Baltic States after observing suspicious transactions, from 2010 to 2015, which again places the timing after the 2008 bailouts. When one places Mr. Rehe's suspicious death in the context of all the other banker deaths over the past few years, this speculation tends to become much stronger, for virtually all those deaths involved people in positions to monitor operations and transactions, from accountants, to information-tech managers, investment advisors, and so on. And as in those other deaths, squatting in the middle of them is another consistent pattern: there is present a prime bank, be it Chase, or Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (HSBC), or here, Deutsche Bank. What's extremely odd thus far is that we've seen relatively few "Epsteined" bankers connected with Deutsche Bank. Sadly, Mr. Rehe's suspicious death might be an indicator that that is about to change...
See you on the flip side...