Danish companies being misused for international economic crime

Reports find thousands of companies ‘living under the radar’

The business newspaper Børsen has examined 500 Danish companies headquartered in Copenhagen and concluded that rich Russian and eastern European businessmen are using some of them for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.

READ MORE: Every third bank fails to report money laundering

After one and a half years of seeking out companies thought to be managed by puppet directors, the credit information services company Experian makes a similar assessment.

“We can see there is a growing number of foreigners, including eastern Europeans, who come here to money launder,” Frank Papsø, the company's sales director for the Nordic region, told Børsen.

“We have focused on 38,000 companies in Denmark that live under the radar with puppet directors in charge. Of theses, 4,532 are run by foreigners, of whom many are eastern European."

Insufficient bookkeeping
The fraud and economic crime unit, SØIK, would not give an interview on the issue. But Børsen claims that a source at the unit confirmed the existence of the phenomenon.

“It is correct that we see a certain pattern of eastern European criminals setting up Danish company structures with the aim of committing international economic crime,” the source said.

It is claimed there are several such companies that report billion kroner turnovers, but that their bookkeeping is so insufficient that auditors have to qualify their reports or completely refrain from giving an auditor’s report.