Daily Management Review

European lawyers call to protect whistleblowers


11/21/2018


Lawyers insist that this measure will help avoid the scandals associated with money laundering, similar to the history of Danske Bank.



blondinrikard
blondinrikard
The European Union must harmonize its legislation on the protection of whistleblowers with the United States in order to avoid major scandals like the one in which Danske Bank was involved. This was stated by a lawyer Steve Kohn, representing the interests of the main informant in the case of the bank, Howard Wilkinson.

Wilkinson held a leading position in a branch of the credit institution in Estonia from 2007 to 2014. Now the authorities of Denmark, Estonia, Great Britain and the USA are investigating a scheme for laundering more than € 200 billion through a small Estonian branch. The money was allegedly shipped from the countries of the former USSR to the West.

Wilkinson should testify in the European Parliament on November 21. However, lawyers fear that the former employee of the largest bank in Denmark will not say anything new: they consider his position "too precarious."

Steve Kohn insists that the European Union should borrow the provisions of the US Tax Code that deal with illegal offshore banks and money laundering, and the Dodd-Frank law, which covers the financial services industry, publicly traded firms and most banks.

"These laws were highly appreciated by the regulatory authorities responsible for their administration, and led to a significant increase in the detection and enforcement of laws prohibiting money laundering, financial crime and tax evasion," Kohn wrote in response to European lawmakers who asked for clarification before the hearing.

According to him, Europe should adopt effective laws that encourage employees to report on financial crimes to the relevant authorities as soon as possible. “Europe cannot afford another money laundering scandal like Danske Bank,” the lawyer said.

Danish lawmakers promised on Tuesday to improve the legal protection of whistleblowers after a public hearing in Copenhagen on Monday.

Previously, Steve Kohn has repeatedly stated that informers should receive remuneration for the information provided. In 2012, he secured a $ 104 million payment to Bradley Birkenfeld, who unveiled a USB tax evasion scheme.

Kohn insists that the informants in Europe are now in the position of a victim: they risk a career, an income, and therefore do not want to cooperate with the investigation. However, European lawmakers are reluctant to introduce financial rewards, fearing bias from whistleblowers.

source: reuters.com






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