SAPO chief harsh on NABU for lack of progress in PrivatBank case
Nazar Kholodnytsky, the chief of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO), has criticized the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) for its failure to make any progress in the PrivatBank case.
“The PrivatBank case has been under investigation for one year and a half. I want to see the result. However, there is none. And all this in spite of 68 NABU detectives on the team. I have no idea what they are busy with. The Prosecutor General’s orders that were given as long ago as last February have not been fulfilled yet. As of now, I have no idea who is guilty in this case. Is that the National Bank [of Ukraine] or its former shareholders?” Kholodnytsky said in an interview with the Holos Ukrainy newspaper on Wednesday.
According to him, the body of evidence on the PrivatBank case has not been collected yet.
“The body of evidence must be collected. And the primary question is where did all the money the NBU had allotted for refinancing go? Cash flows, where the money was sent, and where it disappeared. To find it out, experts must be invited to work day and night solely on this case. And for the past one year and a half we have only been seeing shadowboxing,” Kholodnytsky said.
Following a suggestion by the NBU and the shareholders of PrivatBank, among whom the biggest were Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov at the time, the Ukrainian government on December 18, 2016 decided to nationalize that bank, which was the largest financial institution on the Ukrainian market.
As was earlier reported, the Kroll company that was invited by the Ukrainian authorities in 2017 to conduct a forensic audit of PrivatBank has confirmed that prior to its nationalization at the end of 2016, the bank was involved in large-scale and well-coordinated fraud activities that led to a financial loss of at least $5.5 billion.
In December 2017, PrivatBank filed a lawsuit with the High Court in London against the former owners of the bank Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov, as well as such companies as Teamtrend Ltd., Trade Point Agro Ltd., Collyer Ltd., Rossyan Investing Corp., Milbert Ventures Inc. и ZAO Ukrtransitservice Ltd., which are thought to be either owned by them or under their control.
The plaintiff has succeeded that the court, as a security precaution, has issued an order to put under arrest worldwide all the assets of the former owners of the bank and the above-mentioned six companies to the tune of over $2.5 billion.
Kolomoisky forecasts that the High Court in London will consider the case on the merits no earlier than 2020.
Earlier, all of the defendant companies were mentioned in the rulings of the Pechersky Court of Kyiv issued on July 29, 2016. The rulings envisaged several banking accounts at the Cypriot office of PrivatBank to be put under arrest as part of the investigation against the misappropriation of refinancing loans by the National Bank of Ukraine to the tune of UAH 19 billion.