Ukrgasbank officials exposed on embezzlement of UAH 206 million

06.10.2022 00:00

NABU and SAPO have exposed an organized group led by the former chair of the board of Ukrgasbank PJSC, which illegally withdrew UAH 206 million from the financial institution during 2014-2019. On Oct. 6, 2022, five group participants were notified of suspicion of embezzlement and forgery. The suspects are*:

  •  the board chair;
  •  two deputy board chairs;
  •  the director of the corporate VIP clients department;
  •  the deputy director of the corporate VIP clients department.

*positions as of crime date

Since the whereabouts of the ex-chair are currently unknown, he was notified of suspicion under Art. 278, Art. 135 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine - the notice was left at his workplace, the National Bank of Ukraine. One of the chair deputies and the deputy director of the corporate VIP clients department, whose whereabouts are unknown as well, were notified of suspicion in the same way.

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 non-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.