NCA chief hopeful billions of lei will be recovered from embezzled banking funds within three years
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06:28, 14 Jun 2018

The director of the National Anticorruption Center (NAC) Bogdan Zumbreanu said he is hopeful that in at most three years the NAC will achieve palpable results and the institution’s activity could be assessed not in millions of lei, but in billions of lei recovered from the embezzled banking funds. The topic was developed in the talk show “Issue of the day” on Canal 2 channel, IPN reports.

Bogdan Zumbreanu said the NAC has investigated mainly the actions of decision makers of the three banks – Banca de Economii, Unibank and Banca Sociala – that released loans in breach of the rules, and of economic entities that benefitted from these loans. Later these actions dictated changes in the management of the banks. “The money was well hidden. Attempts were made to destroy the traces of this money. We identified over ten foreign jurisdictions where we will intervene in accordance with our procedures. From the total amount, only a sum remained unidentified and we do not know yet where this money is and who the final beneficiaries are, but hope to track it down,” said the NAC director.

If the recovery costs are higher than the sum that can be repatriated, they will consider the reasonableness of incurring such costs. “Before starting this repatriation struggle, we will draw up an expenditure estimate, a budget to see how much it will cost us,” noted Bogdan Zumbreanu.

Deputy chief prosecutor of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office Adriana Betisor said the investigations they conduct in concert with the NAC cover the period between 2007 and 2014. The money from the banking system was stolen by two ways: by lending to companies affiliated to the bank managers and by making particular investments. The climax was in 2014, when a huge amount of money was taken out of the circuit of the three banks – Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank.

The damage caused to the state came to 13.3 billion lei, 2.6 billion lei of which is to be recovered by selling assets of the three banks. Adriana Betisor said a part of the remaining 10.7 billion lei is covered by property sequestrated within the managed criminal cases. They have to yet determine who benefitted from another 1 billion lei.

According to the prosecutor, definitive conviction sentences in this case were given to Ion Rusu, of “Caravita&Co”, ex-Premier Vlad Filat and businessman Veaceslav Platon. The ordinary courts of law also convicted the mayor of Orhei Ilan Shor and former Liberal-Democratic MP Kiril Luchinski. “The pending criminal cases involve the Gachkevich group that consists of the Board of Banca de Economii that served when the bank was managed by  Gachkevich and particular business entities that benefitted from loans from Banca de Economii and the administration of Unibank with the sum of 485 million lei,” stated Adriana Betisor.

She noted that a large part of the money was used for personal interests, such as tourist services, trips and investments abroad. They will follow the stolen money in each country whose banking systems were transited by this money.

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