Police 'Arrested Four' over BGN 206 M Withdrawn from KTB in Sacks

Crime | July 13, 2014, Sunday // 12:39
Bulgaria: Police 'Arrested Four' over BGN 206 M Withdrawn from KTB in Sacks Photo by Hristina Dimitrova

Four people were detained as part of an ongoing investigation into the reportedly illicit withdrawal of BGN 206 M from the Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), media reports say.  

Citing "its own" sources, the Bulgarian National Radio disputes previous information from the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office, which announced Friday that only two people were arrested.

According to the report, the chief accountant of KTB's vault and his deputy are among those detained.

Investigators are yet to find out what was their role in the scheme.

As for the other suspects, KTB Managerial Board's Chairman and bank CEO Orlin Rusev and Chief Cashier Margarita Petrova, the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement Friday that the former had instructed the latter to hand the BGN 206 M (EUR 103 M), put into a number of sacks, to "people" whose names have not yet been revealed. 

Prosecutors, but also the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), which revoked KTB's license earlier this week, argued the transaction was actually made to KTB's major shareholder Tsvetan Vasilev through "a third party".

The Sofia City Court is due to decide whether they should permanently remain in custody upon the prosecutors' request.

Vasilev, for his part, issued an official response to the allegations.

In an open letter he explained he could not have taken part in the scheme as he is out of Bulgaria "since June 10, 2014".

He later told private national channel bTV he was to return in Bulgaria "within days" after having spent weeks in Austrian capital Vienna. His assurance comes as Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov announced Vasilev is to be summoned “in accordance with the international legal cooperation” with regard to the missing money from the KTB vaults.

On Friday, briefly before making public its decision to suspend KTB's license to perform banking activity and nationalize its subsidiary Credit Agricole Bulgaria, central bank BNB declared that the bank was displaying practices that wend beyond the law and good banking activities.

Citing its own sources and also results of an independent audit conducted at the bank after it was imposed a special supervision for depleted liquidity, BNB argued BGN 3.5 B (EUR 1.75 B) were missing at the bank.

It also announced that, alongside the BGN 206 M taken "in sacks", other BGN 1 B had been rapidly withdrawn between June 18 and 20.

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Tags: KTB, liquidity, nationalization, Prosecutor's Office, Credit Agricole Bulgaria, BNB, Tsvetan Vasilev, Corporate Commercial Bank, Margarita Petrova, Orlin Rusev, Sotir Tsatsarov
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