Court puts member of NBU Council Kalensky under house arrest in VAB Bank case
The Higher Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine on Wednesday put a member of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Mykola Kalensky under house arrest for the period of 60 days in the case on the provision of a stabilization loan to VAB Bank.
An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that the prosecutor asked for stricter measures to be taken – arrest for the period of 60 days with a UAH 20 million bail.
The court obliged Kalensky not to leave Kyiv region, not to speak to witnesses, among who are Governor of the NBU Yakiv Smolii, surrender his passports and wear the ankle monitor.
First Deputy NBU Governor Kateryna Rozhkova, Deputy NBU Governor Roman Borysenko and members of the NBU Board Dmytro Sologub and Oleh Churiy asked the court to act as bail persons. The defense also said that the accusations are groundless and it is impossible to arrest Kalensky, taking into account his age and the state of health.
Kalensky is accused of approving the too high appraisal of property, while according to investigators, there was information that the value of the property was not enough to use as collateral to issue such a large loan.
Agents of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) jointly with prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) on November 11-12 officially announced that ex-first deputy governor of the National Bank Oleksandr Pysaruk, Kalensky, ex-director of the NBU banking supervision department Alla Shulha are suspected of taking possession of a stabilization loan issued by the National Bank to VAB Bank in the amount of UAH 1.2 billion.
Notices of suspicion were served to five more persons: the head of the supervisory board and deputy board chairman of VAB Bank, three employees of private companies affiliated with the owners of the bank. Law enforcers said they would ask the court to detain them or set bail at between UAH 2.5 million and UAH 30 million.
The NBU in November 2014, 40 days after the stabilization loan was granted, declared VAB Bank (Kyiv) insolvent, and on March 20, 2015 decided to revoke its banking license and liquidate it.
According to the NBU, as of early October 2014, VAB Bank ranked 16th in terms of assets (UAH 23.97 billion) among 166 banks operating in the country. Its owner, businessman Bakhmatiuk, the majority shareholder of the agricultural holdings UkrLandFarming and Avangard, repeatedly asked the Deposit Guarantee Fund and the NBU to let him restructure the debt, but the National Bank rejected his offers and now demands immediate recovery of the debt related to the refinancing loan.