Ukrainska Pravda outlet cited its interlocutors in law enforcement agencies and reported that it was about the arrest of one of the top defendants in this high-profile case, the former first deputy chairman of PrivatBank, Volodymyr Yatsenko. In a while, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) confirmed this information and said that the suspect had already been agreed upon to the detainee.
Volodymyr Yatsenko. Career at PrivatBank
Volodymyr Yatsenko has been working in the financial institution in the last months before its nationalization. He served as First Deputy Chairman of the Board, owned 0.3% of the bank's shares.
Reference. The decision to nationalize PJSC PrivatBank was made in December 2016 – 100% of the shares of the largest bank in Ukraine became state property.
In 2019, Yatsenko was among the ex-minority shareholders of former top managers of a financial institution who appealed against his nationalization.
Detention at the airport
According to NABU, the detainee tried to leave Ukraine on a private plane, which was supposed to take him to the Austrian capital Vienna. The details of the special operation and the name of the detainee were published on Facebook by NABU Public Control Council head Mark Savchuk.
The NABU Public Control Council asked how the former top manager of PrivatBank so quickly found out about the suspicion signed to him.
According to him, at 9:00 am, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova signed a suspicion to Volodymyr Yatsenko, and at 10:30 am he boarded a charter flight Dnipro – Vienna.
"The plane takes off, but. The director of the NABU (Artem Sytnyk) and the senior detective of the Privat case (Oleksandr Skomarov) managed to get to the State Aviation Service to land the plane," the message says.
Venediktova did not rule out the possibility of "leaking" information about the impending suspicion of Yatsenko and promised that this fact would become the subject of a separate investigation.
“…I’ve learned extremely important news - you and I are already used to the fact that sometimes information on the clear plans of law enforcement officers get leaked, which, I am sure, would become the topic of a separate investigation this time. This did not prevent the gentleman, who at that time (before the nationalization, - ed.) worked as the first deputy chairman of the board of PrivatBank, in some surprising way order a charter flight to Vienna, while in Dnipro," the Prosecutor General stated.
What is Yatsenko charged with?
"Misappropriation, embezzlement or seizure of someone else's property by abuse of his official position, committed on an especially large scale or by an organized group."
As we already know, the suspicion was approved by Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.
The PrivatBank case
The institution was nationalized in December 2016. It was declared insolvent, and in order to save it, the state had to capitalize PrivatBank by 4,13 billion USD.
The former owners of the bank, Ihor Kolomoysky and Hennadiy Bogolyubov, called the bank's nationalization illegal.
At the same time, the results of the investigation of an independent Kroll company showed that PJSC PrivatBank was the subject of large-scale and coordinated fraudulent actions by its management, which led to damage in the amount of more than $ 5.5 billion. At the same time, characteristic signs of a coordinated money laundering scheme were discovered. Kolomoisky called this "nonsense, which makes no sense to comment."
Yatsenko is one of the defendants in the case of challenging the nationalization of PrivatBank. In December 2019, he, along with other ex-minority shareholders and former top managers, filed a lawsuit against the state. The applicants tried to challenge, among other things, the bail-in procedure – the forced conversion of their deposits into new bank shares, which were issued in December 2016 during the nationalization and then were redeemed by the state for symbolic one hryvnia with all the "old" bank shares (total - 100 %).
In December last year, Venediktova announced that she became a member of the prosecutors in cases against the Privat group. Commenting on Yatsenko's suspicion, the Attorney General noted that she had signed suspicions against several more people. Their names were not disclosed.