PRIVATBANK – “ONE OF THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL SCANDALS OF THE 21ST CENTURY”, SAYS FORMER CHAIRWOMAN OF UKRAINE’S CENTRAL BANK, AND THE ROLE OF CYPRUS

On 19th April, OCCRP carried an article about the alleged theft of $5.5 billion from PrivatBank, once Ukraine’s largest commercial lender.  The suspected masterminds are the bank’s 2 oligarch owners, who stand accused of absconding with an amount roughly equal to 5% of the country’s GDP.  OCCRP claims that it has traced the mechanism that appears to have allowed the oligarchs to funnel such vast wealth out of Ukraine, saying that the money was moved through a PrivatBank subsidiary in Cyprus.  Officials in Ukraine, treating the Cyprus branch as if a domestic branch, never detected that cash transferred to Cyprus was leaving Ukraine; and Cypriot regulators either failed to detect that the various bank transfers totalling $5.5 billion were backed by bogus contracts, or did not take the necessary action to stop them.  The article also says that another route the Ukrainian funds took via Cyprus led to Latvia, with some of an IMF loan to Ukraine being sent via Cyprus to accounts at PrivatBank Latvia – the ownership arrangements at the Latvian bank later being altered making it difficult to trace the missing funds.

https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/oligarchs-weaponized-cyprus-eranch-of-ukraines-largest-bank-to-send-5-billion-abroad

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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