Estonia questioned 3 Aripank staff in new money laundering probe

Estonian police said they held three employees of local bank Tallinna Aripank for questioning this week for 48 hours as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering and bribery.

TALLINN, June 15 (Reuters) - Estonian police said they held three employees of local bank Tallinna Aripank for questioning this week for 48 hours as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering and bribery.

Estonia's bank system has been in the spotlight after Denmark's largest lender, Danske Bank DANSKE.CO, said last year more than 200 billion euros ($224 billion) of suspicious payments had gone through its Estonian branch.

Police said the three Aripank employees were taken on June 11 then released after two days, in an investigation that began in the summer of 2018.

They said the case was not linked to the Danske Bank probe.

Tallinna Aripank - one of the region's smaller lenders compared to Nordic banking groups such as Danske and Swedbank SWEDa.ST -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

($1 = 0.8923 euros)

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Writing by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Helena Soderpalm and Andrew Cawthorne;)

((Niklas.Pollard@thomsonreuters.com; +46 8 700 1110; Reuters Messaging: niklas.pollard.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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