Tags: moldova | 1 billion | loans | banks | protest

Moldova: $1 Billion Missing Via Suspicious Loans Issued by Banks

Image: Moldova: $1 Billion Missing Via Suspicious Loans Issued by Banks
National Bank of Moldova, logo and Coat of arms of Moldova. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2015 08:14 AM

The Republic of Moldova lost $1 billion late last year via suspicious loans issued by three of the country's major banks — including a state-run institution — which spurred thousands of residents to take to the streets over the weekend in protest.

Moldova, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania in Eastern Europe, lost one-eighth of its gross domestic product in the banking scandal that angered roughly 10,000 who demonstrated in the country's capital of Chisinau Sunday, the Global Post reported.

Agence France-Presse reported that the crowd yelled anti-corruption slogans and demanded the resignation of the prosecutor general, as well as a number of Supreme Court judges and politicians they believed took part in the scandal.

A report prepared for the National Bank of Moldova by the U.S. auditing firm Kroll pointed to a Moldova businessman as a culprit in the scandal but suggested continuing the investigation.

"There appears to have been a deliberate plan to gain control of each of the banks and subsequently manipulate transactions to gain access to credit, whilst giving the appearance to the contrary," the report stated, according to Reuters.

Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe, has a population of 3.5 million people and has suffered economically since the fall of the Soviet Union.

"Our country is a poor and agrarian country," Igor Botan, a political analyst and part of the grassroots movement that organized Sunday's rally, told the Global Post. "But it's home to decent people who want their country to flourish, to be closer to European standards, and for it to find its economic niche alongside the European Union."

One person named in the report, Banca de Economii president Ilan Shor, told Reuters Tuesday he was cooperating with investigators to determine who was involved in the theft of the missing funds.

"We're actively cooperating with the investigation, we're providing all necessary documents," Shor, who is also a duty-free shop chain owner, told reporters. "We're more interested than anyone in finding out the truth about who stole from the bank starting in the 1990s and right up until 2013."

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The Republic of Moldova lost $1 billion late last year via suspicious loans issued by three of the country's major banks — including a state-run institution — which spurred thousands of residents to take to the streets over the weekend in protest.
moldova, 1 billion, loans, banks, protest
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2015-14-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 08:14 AM
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