Ten new suspects in "Ukrgasbank" case

NABU and SAPO have announced new suspicions in the case of Ukrgasbank, which lost UAH 206 million during 2014-2020 due to the actions of an organized group led by the bank's board chair. On Feb. 14, 2023, ten more persons were served with charges. The actions of nine of them fall under Part 5 Art. 27 Part 5 Art. 191 and Part 5 Art. 27, Part 3 Art. 28 Part 1 Art. 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, one of them - under Part 5 Art. 27, Part 3 Art. 28 Part 1 Art. 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Five persons were notified of suspicion in absentia.

According to the investigation, at the time of the crime, the suspects were entrepreneurs who allegedly facilitated the engagement of new customers at Ukrgasbank. Thus, the total number of scheme participants increased to 15 persons.

As established, in November 2014, Ukrgasbank officials organized a scheme to withdraw funds from the bank through payments to pseudo-intermediaries allegedly for attracting large businesses and state enterprises as the bank's new clients.

In fact, brokerage took place only on paper, while the new clients deposited funds in Ukrgasbank on their own initiative or in accordance with the procedure introduced for the state sector by the Cabinet of Ministers. Nevertheless, Ukrgasbank, on the basis of fictitious acts of completed work, paid pseudo-intermediaries for services that they never provided.

The pseudo-intermediaries came as natural persons-entrepreneurs, self-employed persons, and legal entities. Most of them appeared solely to participate in the scheme: upon being paid, they ceased their activities.

Interestingly, none of the remaining state-owned banks in Ukraine used such a corrupt practice to attract clients. Moreover, after NABU and SAPO sped up the investigation, the suspects dropped the scheme. While it was active from November 2014 to March 2020, Ukrgasbank made over a thousand transfers to 52 pseudo-intermediaries, spending some UAH 206 million.

NABU and SAPO consider the first deputy chair, who soon led the bank, to be the organizer of the scheme. He initiated amendments to internal documents to legitimize the scheme, secured its smooth implementation, approved the terms of cooperation with intermediaries, and exercised control over payments.

The investigation involves a number of examinations, interrogations of witnesses, wiretaps, temporary accesses to items and documents, testimony received from bank clients, reviews of computer equipment and mobile phones with detailed correspondence between the scheme participants, as well as seized documents.

NABU and SAPO keep identifying other participants in the scheme.

According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is considered not-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.