Greenlandic ministry official steps down after two days in office

Resignation of high-ranking civil servant comes amid revelations of previous criminal charges

Carsten Frank Hansen barely had time for a cup of coffee before he was forced to leave his new job as the head of Greenland's finance ministry yesterday.

Hansen, who was born in Greenland, had served for two days as permanent secretary before stepping down amid reports by Berlingske newspaper that he has been under investigation for financial crimes in Denmark for the past 16 months.

“We deeply regret that we were not aware of this information before we hired Hansen,” said Greenlandic government spokesperson Svend Hardenberg in a press release. “We are pleased that he has now made the right decision to step down.”

A breach of trust
Hansen is charged with a breach of trust while working at a previous job as a bank manager in Denmark.

“Without being too specific, the bank's claim amounts to 335,000 kroner,” Albert Rasmussen, a police spokesperson, said.

Hansen was branch manager from December 2006 until he was dismissed in June 2012.  

Chequered past
After Hansen was fired from the bank job, he was hired as the head of Greentop Greenland, a Nuuk-based advertising company. He was also let go from that position.

His position as permanent secretary would have placed him as a co-manager Greenland’s public finances and in charge of both Danish and Greenlandic tax dollars.

If the current investigation leads to Hansen being found guilty, he risks up to a year and a half in prison.