: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Austrian prosecutors investigating siphoning UAH 12 bln from Ukrainian banks via Meinl Bank

Over a year ago, the lawyers at Center for Combating Corruption submitted to the Austrian law enforcement agencies a report on Meinl Bank`s participation in criminal schemes to launder funds from a number of Ukrainian banks and driving them to bankruptcy.

Vienna prosecutor`s office is probing the involvement of Meinl Bank in the siphoning of funds from Ukrainian banks, Nashі Hroshі investigative show reported referring to the article in Der Standard.

According to the press-secretary of the Vienna prosecutor`s office, they suspect that the current and former chairmen of Meinl Bank were involved in money laundering, and the investigation is under way.

Last year, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau initiated criminal proceedings on the submissions of Center for Combatting Corruption into the siphoning of at least UAH 12 billion from the number of Ukrainian banks.

According to an unlawful scheme, a Ukrainian bank would open a correspondent account with a foreign bank, having received a permission of the NBU, and allocate a significant amount of money in this account.

The foreign bank would in turn strike a loan agreement with a third party,  connected with the senior management or owners of the Ukrainian bank, to invest in certain activities in Ukraine. The Ukrainian bank would sign a deposit-secured loan agreement with the foreign correspondent bank, where the money on the correspondent account would be used as a collateral for the loan agreement between foreign correspondent bank and third party. In a breach of Ukrainian legislation, the securing agreement would not be carried on the Ukrainian bank`s books and the agreement would not be secured with the obligatory reserves. In case any financial problems arise  at the Ukrainian bank and there are prospects of an interim administration being imposed, the foreign correspondent bank would withdraw the money from the correspondent account as a securing of the credit debt.

According to the data available, the scheme was used by Bank Tavrika, Bank Kyivska Rus, KB Pivdenkombank, City Commerce Bank, AvtoKrazBank, EnergoBank, VBA Bank, and Delta Bank.


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