Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bankers being "bumped off" again

Several days ago a top Russian banker, German Gorbuntsov, was 'whacked' in London by a lone assassin, but survived. He remains in a critical but stable condition in an unnamed London hospital. The attack, which was front page news in the papers, may well be linked to an ongoing investigation into the attempted murder of another Russian banker, Aleksandr Antonov, in Moscow in 2009.

Yuriy Butusov, in 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya', describes an almost identical event that occurred a day earlier, on 20th March, in Kyiv. The deputy head of the 'Soyuz' Bank, and, more importantly, founder of the scandal-ridden 'Rodovid' Bank, Serhiy Dyadechko, was also shot-up, but also survived.

Butusov suggests the attempt on Dyadchenko's life is connected to the collapse in 2009 of the Ukrainian 'Rodovid' bank - one of the biggest bank busts ever seen in Eastern Europe. The tab for losses of up to 35Bn Hryven was picked up by the Ukrainian state and its citizens when the bank was recapitalised.

The Security Service of Ukraine, [SBU], led by recently-appointed first vice prime minister Valeriy Khoroshkovsky, failed to 'nail' anyone for fraud even though in March 2010 the State Financial Inspectorate provided a detailed report on financial machinations by top managers at the bank to the tune of over 22 Bn Hryven. Khoroshkovsky, at the time, promised to personally control the investigation.

Only one guy has been 'brought to justice' so far - temporary administrator Serhiy Shcherbyn, who actually joined 'Rodovid' bank after it went 'belly-up'. The former president of the bank, famed Olympian Serhiy Bubka has never even been questioned, and a third founder of the bank, Denys Horbunenko, head of the bank's administration, now lives in London.

The main witness to the huge alleged bank fraud, multimillionaire Hennadiy Piskun, mysteriously fell out of a the 7th floor Donetsk apartment window on 29th October last year, while, allegedly, attempting to fix the air conditioning unit. It seems things got 'rather too hot' for him shortly after being questioned by the SBU, when he 'fingered' the bank's directors for theft of the money. Piskun's death has never been properly investigated so it is quite probable he was 'silenced'.

This was not the first 'accident' involving witnesses in the 'Rodovid' case. After being questioned by the SBU, the head of the bank's legal department, Olekshandr Ivakhnenko 'slipped in the bath' and received serious head injuries. He was hospitalised for many months.

Having survived his ordeal, Serhiy Dyadchenko has, unsurprisingly, fled the country with his family and may be seeking asylum, possibly in France.

Butusov, in his 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya' article concludes: Organisers of financial scams are the people most invulnerable to justice in Ukraine - they are second only to the organisers of political scams. Witnesses who provide evidence are thrown out of windows, and appointed administrators are found guilty. No one takes responsibily for the collapse of banks. The legal system means nothing in the black hole that is Ukraine's financial system.

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