▲ Up
10:55 23-07-2017
АКИpress CA-News Tazabek Turmush
Moldovan businessman jailed for role in $1 billion bank fraud
10:16, 21 April 2017, 431

AKIPRESS.COM - A Moldovan court sentenced businessman Veaceslav Platon to 18 years in prison on Thursday for money-laundering and fraud linked to the disappearance of $1 billion from Moldova's banking system, Reuters reported.

Known locally as the "theft of the century", the scandal saw the equivalent of an eighth of the impoverished former Soviet republic's gross domestic product stolen from three of its largest banks between 2012-2014.

An investigation into the banking fraud has identified around 40 people who either benefited from the scheme or facilitated it, but most of them have yet to be publicly named.

The court found Platon guilty of embezzling some of the money that disappeared - around 800 million lei ($42 million) - from lender Banca de Economii, which subsequently went bankrupt.

According to the judge's ruling, he must repay the money and serve 18 years in prison.

Platon, who maintains his innocence, said he was the victim of a witch-hunt.

"Look into my eyes, gentlemen judges. Are you not ashamed? This is not a verdict, it's a political show trial," he said after the sentence was read out.

A former prime minister, Vlad Filat, has also been jailed in connection with the scam, in which money was siphoned overseas over years through dodgy loans, asset swaps and shareholder deals.

The scandal triggered street protests, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union froze aid, the leu currency plunged to record lows and inflation climbed into double digits.

Many Moldovans believe other members of the pro-EU elite apart from Filat were also involved, or at least complicit, in the scheme.

Platon was detained in July 2016 and is separately suspected of involvement in a Russian-led money laundering operation that funnelled around $22 billion of Russian money through the Moldovan financial system between 2011-2014. He also denies any wrongdoing in that case.

He was denied the right to attend much of the trial because of alleged bad behaviour that included insulting the judges.

His lawyer, Eduard Rudenko, said this and other restrictions imposed on the defence amounted to a violation of his constitutional rights.

Log-in / Sign-up

your choice: year (20000 som)

18:08 'Turkey hasn't open its doors to those who shot at their own people after 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan' – adviser to president of Turkey17:02 Przhevalsky Museum to be rehabilitated in Karakol16:50 PM Jeenbekov orders to finish construction of schools by new academic year16:05 662 mln som allocated for rehabilitation of Balykchy — Korumdu road out of planned 912 mln — Ministry of Transport15:29 Atambayev, ex–chairman of El Kurultai of Altai Republic discuss cooperation15:12 Palestinian President to freeze contact with Israel ‘on all levels’14:03 813.2 million som allocated for motorway repairs in H113:15 Kyrgyz Embassy asks migrants in Russia to deliver biometric data12:12 Tender for construction of burnt building of General Prosecutor's Office of Kyrgyzstan announced again11:36 Three Israelis stabbed to death in West Bank attack11:05 Cargo transportation between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan 14% up10:14 Tourists from Chelyabinsk use 6-10 day tours to Issyk-Kul - Delegation of Chelyabinsk09:36 Tajikistan to promote clothing to counter ‘alien’ traditions09:17 India musician plays guitar during brain surgery09:05 Mortality rate among children under 5 years old down two-thirds: First Lady17:55 PM Jeenbekov orders to accelerate rehabilitation of resort for teachers17:21 Minister of Transport of Kyrgyzstan calls on employees to work on weekends16:30 'Dunkirk': How historically accurate is Christopher Nolan's WWII battle film?16:30 Probe launched against 19yo boy who went to Issyk-Kul with 14yo girl16:10 Atambayev congratulates newly elected president of India
© AKIpress News Agency - 2001-2017. All rights reserved
Republication of any material is prohibited without a written agreement with AKIpress News Agency. Any citation must be accompanied by a hyperlink to akipress.com.
Our address:
Moskovskaya str. 189, Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic
e-mail: english@akipress.org, akipressenglish@gmail.com;
Tel/Fax: +996(312)90-07-75