National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine conducts searches of National Bank

On March 29, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) conducted searches on the premises of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). The NBU press-service reported that the searches and seizure of documents were done in accordance with the ruling of the Solomyanskiy District Court. However, the NBU did not specify which criminal proceedings this relates to.

Vitaly Bala, analyst at the Situations Modeling Agency, believes that the searches at the National Bank are in connection with the fact that the resignation of Valeriya Gontaryeva, which has been spoken about for a long time, is once again on the agenda. This is a way of accelerating the dismissal of the head of the NBU.

Aside from this, the expert says, these searches could be related to the IMF’s granting of another tranche to Ukraine. It can be assumed, according to him, that the Anti-Corruption Bureau has information that the IMF will not allocate us a tranche, and this prompted them to conduct searches.

“This could easily be related, because the provision of the tranche, which we were denied several weeks ago [on March 20, the matter of Ukraine disappeared from the IMF agenda. The next session is scheduled for April 3], in one way or another relied on Roman Nasirov, head of the State Fiscal Service (SFS), who an investigation is currently being conducted against. It’s not without reason that the European ambassadors and the US immediately supported an investigation against the head of the SFS. Especially if you take into account the fact that the US is the IMF’s primary donor. The matter of Gontaryeva’s resignation also came up then,” Bala observes.

Artem Sytnyk, Chairman of the NABU, said that the searches concern the management of the bank.

“This case concerns the management of the National Bank of Ukraine,” Sytnyk stated. According to him, the investigative measures on the NBU premises can hardly be called searches.

“It’s hard to call these traditional searches, because there has been no resistance from the NBU staff regarding the proceedings. They met our staff and gave us the documents which the detectives needed. The case investigation is underway,” Sytnyk added.

According to the NABU, the senior officials of the NBU have acted in the interests of a third party – they have helped several commercial banks. According to TSN channel, it was ascertained from the unofficial source that the searches were conducted in the office of Ekaterina Rozhkova, Acting Deputy Governor at the NBU, and that the case could be related to the refinancing of Platinum Bank.

“This could be related to Rozhkova, who may have acted in the interests of certain financiers of Russian origin, because she worked for them in Kaufman’s organizations,” MP Ihor Lutsenko explained. He also mentioned another theory, however, regarding the legitimacy of ending the operations of several commercial banks.

Officially the NABU has not yet placed anyone under suspicion. In a broadcast of Channel 112 Ukraine, Oksana Mitnitskaya, head of the public relations and media department, said only that “the investigation is underway”.

“This is a secret investigation. Everything that the NABU detectives require for the investigation is being done,” she added.

Economic expert Andrey Novak believes that the searches at the NBU are perceived positively by the IMF.

“This is the evidence of what is called the ‘fight against corruption’. Corruption is the main stumbling block for broader collaboration between Ukraine and western partners. Another matter is whether or not this will lead only to the same strong criticism which there has been a lot of from the NABU regarding the officials. But in the end nobody has been held responsible,” Novak observes.

  Ukraine, NBU, NABU, IMF, Corruption