The Investigation Into the Billion Theft Continues

The Investigation Into the Billion Theft Continues
06 August 2020 | 14:12

The representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office announced that they are going to send to court some materials in the bank fraud case. 

On August 5, representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office announced that they are going to send to court some materials in the bank fraud case. General Prosecutor’s Office officials made the announcement through an informative note.

The prosecutors also announced that the prosecutors’ investigations have a strictly legal character, the law enforcement officers are focused on documentation, within the limits of the criminal-procedural legislation, on identifying and prosecuting all those involved in the robbery of the national banking system, and on the recovery of the damage caused to the state and the citizens.

The General Prosecutor’s Office announced that the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office will soon send to court some materials related to the bank fraud. The institution will provide additional information, within the limits of the law, in order not to affect the conduct of investigations on this case.

In early May 2020, Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo stated that more information about bank fraud would be provided in the near future, as law enforcement would have managed to uncover more facts. 

According to Stoianoglo, everything that had been done previously in the billion theft case was a lie and no one tried to find out who was the final beneficiary of the theft and where the stolen money from the three banks ended up.

Stoianoglo made the statements a few days after prosecutors conducted several searches at the National Bank of Moldova, claiming that these actions are related to the bank fraud case. 

“The National Bank of Moldova has simply removed itself from the case. I understand why this happened: the same people that worked there at the time when the theft of the billion was committed are working there now. 

There is no point to expect sincerity from them. I do not understand why the National Bank of Moldova has been out of the investigation in all these years. I asked them to provide us with auditors and the necessary information, but we have run into misunderstanding and even resistance. This determined us to resort to active actions and to get hold of certain documents on our own,” the Prosecutor General declared then.

At the end of 2014, immediately after the November parliamentary elections, the citizens of Moldova found out that about a billion dollars disappeared from the Banca de Economii, Unibank, and the Banca Sociala. 

In December 2014, immediately after the theft of the billion was made public, the National Bank of Moldova instituted a special administration in the case of the three banks, and in January 2015, it contracted a financial investigation from the American audit and financial investigation company Kroll. 

The investigation ended in April, and the Kroll 1 report was transmitted to political leaders. Under mounting public pressure, Andrian Candu, who at that time was President of the Parliament, made the report public. 

The report revealed that secret transfer operations have taken place since 2012. In order to liquidate the traces of those transfers, as well as some documents, a vehicle with essential documents held by Banca de Economii was set on fire. 

According to the Kroll 1 Report, businessman Ilan Shor gained control of the three banks in 2012, after which he began to transfer loans from one bank to another, as well as to foreign entities, Russian and offshore banks. 

Shor was placed under house arrest shortly after the publication of the report. Subsequently, in 2019, after the change of political power in Chișinău, Shor fled Moldova, and the examination of the cases filed in his name has been deferred. 

Since 2014, when prosecutors started investigating the “billion theft”, no participant in these schemes was convicted in Moldova.

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