Sytnyk counting on intl. audit results to accelerate PrivatBank refinancing investigation
International audit results will speed up the criminal investigation into PrivatBank refinancing, National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Director Artem Sytnyk has said.
During a briefing in Kyiv on Friday, he said PrivatBank case was highly complex, adding that NABU is investigating events that preceded the nationalization of the bank.
"The fraud in the banking sector is not the legacy of NABU, but the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), whose employees dealt with the nationalization of the bank. We will examine how the [NBU refinancing] loans were distributed ... to each of the 193 enterprises. This information is being processed and materials are being collected for each and examinations are being scheduled," Sytnyk said.
Sytnyk said NABU's international work in the case is another matter.
"To say that no one is doing anything is not to know at all what is going on in this case," he said.
"One problem is that after PrivatBank's nationalization an audit was conducted by an independent international independent company. The auditors had access to all the information, including the Cyprus branch. This audit is of great importance for the case. We do not have the audit results yet. At a certain stage, the Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) looked into the alleged illegality of this audit, and later, a court in Odesa court banned publication of the audit results. The situation has stabilized, and SAPO has closed its investigation," the NABU director said, adding that results of the audit would be given to NABU and would speed up the investigation.
The NBU earlier claimed that prior to its nationalization in December 2016, PrivatBank was involved in large-scale and coordinated frauds, which caused at least $5.5 billion in damage. The NBU hired Kroll to audit PrivatBank.
After the nationalization, the bank became 100% owned by the state and UAH 116.8 billion (over $4.4 billion at the current rate) in additional capital was injected into it through the issue of government bonds and an exchange of them for the bank's shares.
Late in June 2017, the Cabinet decided to inject another UAH 38.5 billion (almost $1.5 billion) into the bank on the basis of NBU proposals and conclusions by EY, which audited PrivatBank. The first tranche worth UAH 22.5 billion was allocated in July 2017 and another UAH 16 billion in December 2017.
PrivatBank in December 2017 filed suit in the High Court of England against former owners of the bank, Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov, as well as companies Teamtrend Ltd., Trade Point Agro Ltd., Collyer Ltd., Rossyn Investing Corp., Milbert Ventures Inc. and ZAO Ukrtransitservice Ltd., which allegedly belong to the businessmen or under their control.
The court subsequently issued an international order to arrest Kolomoisky's and Boholiubov's assets, including those held by the six companies, in the amount of $2.5 billion.
In addition, the court ordered Kolomoisky and Boholiubov to disclose information about all their assets and persons who will be involved in the case.
Kolomoisky has said court hearings on the case will not begin before 2020.