Despite the war, the facts of pressure on business from representatives of state institutions continue to take place. In addition to law enforcement agencies, state banks, in particular, resort to pressure on entrepreneurs, writes Bagnet.
This happens because of the abuses of bank officials and with the participation of the judicial branch of government. And one of the clearest examples demonstrating such a trend is the situation with the property of the bankrupt printing company Blitz-Inform.
By selling the collateral of bankrupt assets through auctions, the state-owned Ukreximbank prepares the ground in advance so that this auction can then be appealed. The goal is banal. It consists in not allowing the future owner to take ownership of the assets purchased at the auction, than to create his dependence on the decisions of the bank. And if entrepreneurs refuse to immediately agree on the terms of bribes, then the bank initiates lengthy litigation. And while they continue, the business is deprived of the opportunity to invest in the acquired asset or even use it in any way.
In practice, the described scheme was successfully implemented by the wards of Yevgeny Metzger at that time in relation to the bankrupt printing company Blitz-Inform. The property of the latter was sold through an auction back in 2019. In advance, an application for participation in the auction was submitted by Asvio-Bank, which did not pursue the goal of acquiring an asset, and therefore deliberately did not pay 65 kopecks of the guarantee fee. For this reason, Asvio was not allowed to participate, but subsequently, in unison with the state-owned Ukreximbank, began to challenge the legality of the auction, demanding its cancellation.
Sergei Ermakov. Courts as a money laundering tool
To appeal the auctions “Ukreximbank” attracts lawyers from the little-known Ed Hawk company, which, according to the contract published in the public domain, are paid tens of millions of hryvnias (more than 40 million hryvnias were provided).
Cloud fees do not correspond to market prices for such legal services and, apparently, are only withdrawal method from a state bank. Therefore, the longer the judicial red tape lasts, the more money is supposedly written off for the work of lawyers.
In the situation with Blitz-Inform, time has already gone by for years. losing to the buyer of the bankrupt’s property, the Pulp Mill Print company, the first court instance and appeal, Ed Hawk achieved the decision it needed in cassation. Supreme Court at very strange circumstances returned the case for a new consideration – the corresponding decision was made after the urgent replacement of one of the three courts. So, Ukreximbank’s lawyers could hardly do without a corrupt influence on representatives of the judicial branch of power.
Lenders are hostages
It is not only auction winners who suffer from such a corruption scheme of the state bank, who have acquired an asset and cannot now acquire ownership for years. At the same time, private banking institutions also suffer, because of the groundless appeal of auctions by Ukreximbank, they are deprived of the possibility of returning their credit funds.
“There is such a problem. State banks sometimes engage in outright sabotage. The bankrupt’s asset at this time stands and rusts, because the bank does not manage it, the new owner bought it, paid millions, but cannot use it. And those who lent this asset before bankruptcy among private banks, among other things, cannot receive loan repayment.
It’s a pity when behind such stories there are still the quality of the scheme with lawyers and courts. The NBU should be informed about this. But in fact, I think that the competence of NABU already begins here.”— said the lawyer of one of the private banking institutions.
In March 2022, Sergey Yermakov became the head of the board of Ukreximbank. But instead of destroying the corrupt auction scheme, he left everything as it was. And already during Ermakov’s term, lawyers with millions of fees in the second round dispute legal auctions for the sale of property of bankrupt companies.