“The bank fraud will remain in the political, social, economic and financial agenda with an impact, including a budgetary one, as long as the given burden is borne by the taxpayers. Under the law assumed in 2016, this burden will persist until 2041,” Transparency International Moldova expert Veaceslav Negruța, ex-minister of finance, stated in a public debate titled “Why was bank theft brought back into focus?”, which was held by IPN News Agency.
Veaceslav Negruța noted that as long as the authorities responsible for the investigation of the case didn’t manage to recover the stolen funds, including from sequestrated property or from property blocked following the actions taken by prosecutors, the issue will remain of public interest.
The expert presented two theses related to the bank fraud. According to him, the bank theft at the three banks isn’t over as it continued when the Government assumed responsibility for converting the stolen funds into a state debt. Later, attempts were made to legalize the illegalities committed earlier, which should have also been investigated as frauds. The second moment refers to a statement made by former Premier Filip in 2017. This said that “90% of those featured in the Kroll report were absolutely honest persons and even if they performed particular transactions, they should not be necessarily considered offenders.”
Veaceslav Negruța noted that these two aspects characterize the inaction of the bodies that were to focus on the investigation and that offered time to the beneficiaries of the theft to hide the tracks, including by changes to the legislation or by subsequent legislative creation.
He added the fact that the bank fraud was mimicked is also confirmed by the presentation of a kind of strategy concerning the investigation of the bank fraud by the chief anticorruption prosecutor and the chief of the National Anticorruption Center in June 2018. “That was a symbiosis of scenarios that weren’t based on sufficient documents and it was presented with the aim of creating the impression that the investigation of the frauds was to start, but they actually tried to juggle with information that was already presented by Kroll to the Prosecutor General’s Office through the agency of the National Bank”.
The expert of Transparency International Moldova also said that the last appearance of Prosecutor General Alexandr Stoianoglo, where he made reference to the results of the parliamentary commission led by Alexandru Slusari and to the Kroll report, enjoyed significant credibility.
The debate “Why was bank theft brought back into focus?” was the 136th edition of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.