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21 January 2021, 12:53

Criminal case against Belgazprombank top managers forwarded to court

MINSK, 21 January (BelTA) – The criminal case against top managers of Belgazprombank has been forwarded to court, BelTA learned from Anzhelika Kurchak, Head of the Media Liaison and Publishing Office of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Belarus.

The official said that the Office of the Prosecutor General had studied the criminal case submitted by the State Security Committee and had concluded that the circumstances of the criminal case had been thoroughly and objectively researched. The Office of the Prosecutor General had also concluded that the charges fully match the collected evidence. This is why the Office of the Prosecutor General forwarded the criminal case to the Supreme Court for case hearing.

The former Belgazprombank Chairman of the Board Viktor Babariko is accused of taking an extra-large bribe as part of an organized group. He is also accused of money laundering on a large scale. Six other former top managers of Belgazprombank, who also happen to be Viktor Babariko's deputies, are accused of taking massive bribes as part of an organized group. A co-owner and director of OOO Aktivlizing is accused of giving a bribe to Belgazprombank executives to the tune of at least $2.5 million.

According to Anzhelika Kurchak, the investigation found out that while working as the Belgazprombank chairman of the board, Viktor Babariko created an organized group out of his deputies in order to systematically collect illegal monetary remunerations from commercial entities. Since early 2004 and through mid-June 2020 this group illegally took bribes to the tune of at least Br30.5 million from representatives of commercial entities in exchange for taking certain actions and approving loans.

Viktor Babariko is also charged with performing financial operations to acquire two permanent structures in Minsk in 2018 for the sake of money laundering.

All the accused except for Viktor Babariko have admitted guilt for these crimes.

Anzhelika Kurchak added: “Law enforcement agencies started investigating the possible involvement of Belgazprombank executives in corruption crimes back in 2018. Materials, which Belarus received from Cyprus in late 2019 within the framework of international legal aid, represented one of the reasons for criminal proceedings.”

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