Austrian bank was involved in Ukraine’s money laundering schemes

The current economic situation in modern Ukraine is more than ever characterized by the degradation of leading industries, deep problems in the financial and banking sector, increased state debt dependence on external creditors and an outflow of the economically active population.

Against the background of “triumphant reports” of the state statistical office, broadcasting in the materials published by the government about the steady growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) and main sectors of the economy, the real picture does not want to take shape so smoothly.

For example, foreign direct investment is persistently falling out of the puzzle, which in 2017 decreased by 33% (totaled about $ 2.2 billion) compared to 2016, and the real statistics for 2018 imply a further decrease of almost half.

So what kind of "legacy" is the Ukrainian duck - which seems to be not even "lame", but already "wounded" - ready to leave behind? Indeed, up to 2020, Kiev will have to pay about $ 16 billion in accumulated state debts, and this amount, just think of it, is comparable in size to Ukraine’s international reserves. Based on the current situation, the government was forced to admit that the repayment of debts is impossible without new borrowing.

Thus, at the end of 2018, the reserves of the National Bank were replenished by € 500 million due to financial assistance from the European Union. At the same time, one of the conditions for further investment is the continuation of cooperation between Kiev and the International Monetary Fund. A new deal with the IMF to replace the previous one (in March 2019, a four-year program worth $ 17.5 billion, in which the fund provided Kiev with $ 8.7 billion), provides for “rendering assistance” to the Ukrainian economy for 14 months in the amount of $ 3.9 billion.

So, debts for the sake of paying the debts off, with an eye to buying everything at bargain prices and for debts. The "ingenious scheme" works and does not glitch. Is the vicious circle closed? Is there a way out? It depends on a person!

In May 2016, according to the decision of the Kiev Pechersk Court, some Ukrainian credit organizations used shadow schemes for withdrawing funds through the correspondent accounts of the Austrian Meinl Bank AG, the damage from their actions amounted to more than $ 800 million.

Another "ingenious scheme" worked smoothly as follows. Ukrainian banks entered into custody and collateral agreements with a non-resident Austrian bank, in which all amounts of funds on correspondent accounts, accrued interest and any future receipts to these accounts were pledged to the foreign bank. The pledge was provided to ensure the fulfillment of obligations under the loan agreements that the non-resident bank, in turn, concluded with third parties - non-resident companies in Ukraine. The latter were associated with the owners of Ukrainian banking institutions. And the borrowers did not fulfill their loan obligations, for which Meinl Bank AG unilaterally extrajudicially charged (i.e., debited from the accounts of Ukrainian banks) all funds in its favor.

And now let's take a closer look at the list of these Ukrainian banks and using their own reporting documents (by the way, already removed from the Internet, but still recorded by the author before this sad event), we will analyze some of their activities.

Of the 36 banks that were granted loans by the National Bank of Ukraine at the expense of IMF tranches, 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds (June 10, 2014 - March 15, 2018, Chairman of the Board Ms. Gontareva), 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds. It seems not so much in the framework of the “struggle for the purification and improvement of the financial and credit system of the state”.

However, the true scope, excuse my French, the scam becomes clear when it turns out that only eight credit institutions received up to 95% of this money. They strenuously pumped them through the already familiar Austrian Meinl Bank AG with a further withdrawal to private offshore companies in Cyprus and Belize. As a result, six of them have already left the orderly ranks of the banking system of Ukraine. And it happened somehow quietly, almost without ceremony, which suggests the national scale of such "Mummery". Yes, and the ratio of the numbers 11 to 36, or 6 out of 11, not all the same - 6 out of 8 rather confirms our conjecture that Ms. N. Yaresko who held the post of Minister of Finance from February 12, 2014 to April 14, 2016 owned the situation.

It would not be superfluous to recall that Ms. N. Yaresko, a citizen of the United States treated by the highest presidential power, obtained the citizenship of Ukraine, so to speak, from the hands of Mr. Poroshenko for "special merit." Was it only for merits to the state and what exactly were her merits?  Maybe in the ability to “correctly” distribute and divide financial flows, primarily taking care of the welfare of the Mr. Poroshenko’s “team” and his inner circle?

Two more banks - participants of this scheme are PJSC “Credit Dnipro” and PJSC “Delta Bank” affiliated with it (declared insolvent in 2015, the bankruptcy procedure is not completed) continue to operate. Their owner is oligarch Pinchuk V.M. - son-in-law of the former President of Ukraine Kuchma L.D. Mr. Pinchuk   maintained close ties with the former representative of the IMF in Ukraine, Mr. Jerome Vacher. In addition, the supervisory board of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the supervisory board of PJSC “Credit Dnipro”. It should also be noted that Mr. Pinchuk is the founder of the “Victor Pinchuk Foundation”, which is funded, including through some private offshore companies.

Do you think this is another final link in the chain of funds adventure allocated by the IMF? Do not hurry! Since 2012, for almost five years, only through the Pinchuk’s fund, “Clinton Foundation” received more than $ 29 million. Yes, my dear Ukrainian reader, Mr. Pinchuk, in fact, became one of the largest financial donors to the former American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Simultaneously, Mr. Pinchuk did not forget Mr. Poroshenko, paying for his election campaign in the media. Mr. Dudnik A.P. was responsible for this truly significant event for one of the leading Ukrainian oligarchs – yes, exactly the head of the supervisory board of the PJSC "Credit Dnipro" bank.

And this already really looks like a “state level” of the highest standard, especially considering the “State Dept” past of Ms. N. Yaresko. Isn't it a perfect mediator and “watchwoman” for all interested parties?!

So instead of financing own economy, the current Ukrainian government headed by Mr. Poroshenko in effect, created a corrupt scheme of international scope, replenished its personal reserves “for a rainy day” and pleased the “democrats” ruling in the USA at that time. However, the Ukrainian president is not very successful with the current American “partners”. Violating the laws of at least two countries, as well as all conceivable principles of democracy and decency (yes, they also exist in politics, to put it mildly, are peculiar, but still) the US Democratic Party actually received uncontrollable income at the expense of the world financial organization allocated to support economy of another state - Ukraine. A crime? Yes! And it is very similar to the "payoff"!

I far from believe in the good intentions of the World Bank, though I cannot but agree with the statement of its Director Ms. Satu Kahkonen, for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, stressing that “the key factor deterring investors from investing in Ukraine is the primacy of personal decisions instead of the rule of law”.

I believe even less in the good intentions of the International Monetary Fund, but it’s hard not to regard as a call to action the statement of his representative in Ukraine, Mr. Yost Ljungman, who noted that “no high-ranking person in the country has been prosecuted for corruption ". But this is a fresh, as they say, uncluttered (or not yet “smeared”) view to the situation.

Maybe it’s time to do business, Mr. Ukrainian voters, and at least start to think a little in a state way. After all, as you know, “one who does not think about the consequences is not friends with a fate, and his future is not safe.”

Written by Kate Matberg

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