NABU and SAPO have completed an investigation regarding 14 persons involved in the scheme of granting a UAH 1.2 billion stabilization loan to PJSC "VAB Bank".
The suspects include:
- 9 National Bank officials, including the ex-First Deputy Head;
- Ex-Deputy Chairman of the Board of VAB Bank;
- Deputy Director of the company that reviewed a bank's property valuation report;
- three officials of private companies related to the beneficial owners of VAB Bank;
The investigation regarding three other suspects - the actual owner of VAB Bank, the former Chairman of the Board and the former Chairman of the Supervisory Board of VAB Bank - has been singled out into separate proceedings suspended after the suspects got onto wanted list.
As established, in October 2014, VAB Bank, classified as a failing bank, requested the National Bank to provide a stabilization loan secured by real estate. Although VAB Bank did not submit all necessary documents, the National Bank Board, contrary to the law, granted the request.
At the same time, the value of the real estate pledged to the National Bank was overestimated almost 25 times with the help of forged valuation reports.
The experts have established that the actual cost of pledged assets was UAH 72.62 million and not UAH 1.8 billion as VAB Bank declared. Nevertheless, being aware of the overpriced pledged assets and the absence of all the necessary documents, the National Bank officials granted UAH 1.2 billion of stabilization loan to VAB Bank. The loan was granted in addition to UAH 3 billion previously received from the National Bank in loans that had not been reimbursed. 40 days later, in November 2014, the National Bank declared VAB Bank insolvent.
VAB Bank did not repay the 1.2 billion UAH stabilization loan received from the National Bank for a period of two years.
NABU has been investigating the above facts since October 2016.
In February 2019, ex-Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko changed the investigative jurisdiction in the case. It was then sent to the National Police Main Investigative Department and closed on August 9 due to the absence of elements of the crime.
However, in September 2019, Lutsenko’s order was cancelled by his successor - Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka, who restored the investigative jurisdiction in the case and returned it to NABU.
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.