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Dokumentation: Dubiose Finanzgeschäfte der Privatbank

Die ukrainische PrivatBank wird okkasionell mit dubiosen Finanzgeschäfte assoziiert. Doch was steckt tatsächlich dahinter? Diese und weitere Fragen stellt sich Heiko Pleines in seinem Kommentar, der hier auszughaft dokumentiert wird

Der ukrainische Finanzminister Oleksandr Danylyuk (L) und die Leiterin der ukrainischen Nationalbank, Valeria Gontareva (R) (© dpa)

Die ukrainische Privatbank ist in Verbindung gebracht worden mit der Unterschlagung von Krediten des Internationalen Währungsfond (IMF) als auch mit einem großen Bankskandal im benachbarten Moldawien. Wir dokumentieren im Überblick die beiden Skandale des Jahres 2015.

Die Redaktion der Ukraine-Analysen

A prominent American investigative journalist, Andrew Cockburn (2015), has described an alleged offshore scheme run by Kolomois’kyi’s Privatbank, which has been used to siphon off $1.8 billion in IMF support for the banking sector: The scheme, as revealed in a series of court judgments of the Economic Court of the Dnipropetrovsk region monitored and reported by Nashi Groshi, worked like this: Forty-two Ukrainian firms owned by fifty-four offshore entities registered in Caribbean, American, and Cypriot jurisdictions and linked to or affiliated with the Privat group of companies, took out loans from PrivatBank in Ukraine to the value of $1.8 billion. The firms then ordered goods from six foreign "supplier” companies, three of which were incorporated in the United Kingdom, two in the British Virgin Islands, one in the Caribbean statelet of St. Kitts & Nevis. Payment for the orders—$1.8 billion—was shortly afterwards prepaid into the vendors’ accounts, which were, coincidentally, in the Cyprus branch of PrivatBank. Once the money was sent, the Ukrainian importing companies arranged with PrivatBank Ukraine that their loans be guaranteed by the goods on order.

But the foreign suppliers invariably reported that they could not fulfill the order after all, thus breaking the contracts, but without any effort to return the money. Finally, the Ukrainian companies filed suit, always in the Dnipropetrovsk Economic Court, demanding that that foreign supplier return the prepayment and also that the guarantee to PrivatBank be cancelled. In forty-two out of forty-two such cases the court issued the identical judgment: the advance payment should be returned to the Ukrainian company, but the loan agreement should remain in force.

As a result, the loan of the Ukrainian company remained guaranteed by the undelivered goods, while the chances of returning the advance payments from foreign companies remain remote. "Basically this transaction of $1.8 bill[ion] abroad with the help of fake contracts was simply an asset siphoning [operation] and a violation of currency legislation in general,” explained Lesya Ivanovna, an investigator with Nashi Groshi in an email to me. "The whole lawsuit story was only needed to make it look like the bank itself is not involved in the scheme … officially it looks like PrivatBank now owns the products, though in reality [they] will never be delivered.

In a separate case, in December 2015, the Latvian Financial and Capital Markets Commission imposed a fine of $2 million on the Latvian subsidiary of Privatbank and ordered the dismissal of its CEO and managing board in reaction to an investigation of the bank’s role in the theft and laundering of money from Moldovan banks (The Baltic Times 2015). In Moldova, the theft of approximately $1 billion had caused a political crisis (Demytrie 2015).

Auszug aus: Pleines, Heiko (2017): The international links of Ukrainian oligarchs. Business expansion and transnational offshore networks, in: Timm Beichelt / Susann Worschech (eds.): Transnational Ukraine? Networks and Ties that influence(d) Contemporary Ukraine, Stuttgart (ibidem-Verlag), S. 167 (in Druck)

Im Text zitierte Quellen: Die Ukraine-Analysen werden von der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen und der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde erstellt. Die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb veröffentlicht sie als Lizenzausgabe.
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