Stanislav Bogdankevich: National Bank should conduct an investigation
U.S. Treasury suspects two Belarusian banks in money laundering. In the statement the U.S. financial authorities on May 22 "Trust Bank" and "Credexbank" included in section 311 of the U.S. Patriot Act as the institutions, which cause "the primary concern of money laundering".
Inclusion in the list gives the right to the U.S. Minister of Finance to require from the White House to introduce sanctions against these institutions.
If the "Trust Bank" has already came in view of the American side, "Credexbank" is named for the first time. In Belarus, it appeared in 2001 under the name "The Nordic Investment Bank." In 2007, here came the new shareholder and the bank changed its name to "Credexbank".
"In 2010, within one to two months "Credex" transferred an amount equivalent to at least one billion dollars in the accounts of hundreds of "foreign front companies" that are registered in offshore zones. Carrying out these operations is the typical deviation from the control. Most of them didn't indicate the true payee", said today Deputy Minister of the United States on terrorism and financial intelligence, David Cohen, commenting on the unveiled list of the suspicious banks.
Director General of Belarusian "Credexbank" Alexander Aksenevich rejects accusations of the U.S. Treasury in the bank's address, which is called "the key center of global money laundering".
"For us it is a complete surprise. This is nonsense. Now we are trying to establish contacts with the U.S. Treasury to make the denial of this, to put it mildly, implausible information", Radio Liberty quoted Aksenevich.
UDF.BY asked the former Chairman of the National Bank of Belarus, Professor Stanislav Bogdankevich to comment on the occurred bank scandal.
- "TrustBank" and "Credexbank" cause "the primary concern of money laundering" of the U.S. Treasury. What does this mean in terms of image and the Law and what it implies for these banks?
- These are small banks. Can they conduct the money-laundering operations? Probably can, as suspicions appeared.
Their image naturally is getting worse. But we have 32 banks, they are small - their capital is less than $20 million. I thought, they can be absorbed in the process of consolidation of capital. That has not happened yet.
- Stanislav, why do the Belarusian banks periodically appear in such dark stories?
- The mentioned banks, I think, do not even have accounts in the United States. Clearly, the international cross-sectional structures are tracking the movement of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars. Previously, there were problems at the "Info Bank" with the Libyan capital, but now there is no Gaddafi in Libya.
To prove such accusations is extremely difficult. The National Bank does not admit the money laundering, the bank itself also don't admit this. There should be an investigation. As the National Bank monitors compliance with the rule of law in the banking industry - then it should investigate. We abide by laws worldwide in the banking sector: we have laws to prevent illegal transactions, money laundering.
Perhaps these suspicions have arisen because of the campanies, which conducts its operations through the named banks.