Photo: Vadim Zamirouski / TUT.BY

In Minsk were searched in the BGB, which for 20 years was led by a potential competitor Lukashenko in the presidential election

Photo: Vadim Zamirouski / TUT.BY

The Department of financial investigations of the state control Committee (SCC) of Belarus carried out searches in the office building of Belagroprombank in Minsk on criminal case about tax evasion and money laundering in especially large size, received by a criminal way. From mid-2000 to may 2020, the Bank was headed by Victor Babariko, who is going to participate in the presidential elections in Belarus on 9 August.

Suspects in a criminal case are representatives of commercial structures, as well as former and current employees of the banking system, RIA “Novosti” in the press service of the SCC. Babariko procedural status at the moment does not have.

He Babariko told the portal that the search takes place in people associated with him directly, not employees of the Bank, and his friends. The search also took place in “Privatizing”, the company and the Director which is in the initiative group with Babariko, and the insurance company “Kentavr”.

In early June President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, without naming names, said that one of the potential candidates for the presidency are involved in fraudulent activity and mentioned the company “Privatizing”. On June 10, Lukashenka stated that business people “throw out” its supporters from work during a pandemic, and instructed the attorney General, the state control Committee and other bodies “to go through those potbellied bourgeois”.

Babariko, commenting on the searches in stream broadcast on YouTube, said that the actions of the authorities focused not on himself but on his friends. “Why was it done? Because direct dirt on me, and there is great hope that people are intimidated, forced to tell lies, to slander myself and other people,” said the former head of the BGB.

Addressing the members of his initiative group, Babariko said that what is happening is the pressure on him and “the formation of a complex of guilt for the people who believed and went out.” Babariko also called an emergency press conference at which he spoke, that for 20 years on the post of the Chairman of the Board of Belgazprombank his activities caused no comments “from the point of view of the involvement of law enforcement agencies”.

“We have passed all audits, including audits of the national Bank. Last, unscheduled and emergency ended in January of this year. No substantive comments were not” – said the businessman. “Privatizing”, he said, continues to be one of “the largest and most respected” customers of Belgazprombank.

According to Babariko, with companies in which searches were carried out, it binds only that they were customers of Belgazprombank. “Personally in any way we are not related. I partially know the people of these companies – and that’s probably all”, – said Babariko. notes that the company “Privatizing” and “centaur” have a number of common shareholders: this is the former top managers of Belagroprombank and the Latvian company. Shareholders of OJSC “Belgazprombank”, in turn, are PJSC “Gazprom” and Bank “GPB”.

Commenting on the mass arrests of opposition bloggers and activists in Belarus, Babariko stated that these actions are not repressive in nature, as no one of the detainees have not been punished yet. “All the people who called and interrogated are innocent. Their guilt establishes only court. Yes, involvement is odd. I have no evidence that they are politically motivated, but the probability of such exist”, – quotes the policy of The Village of Belarus.

Presidential elections in Belarus scheduled for 9 August. Initiative groups for nominating their candidates need to collect at least 100 thousand signatures of citizens. Incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko and Victor Babariko overcame the bar. The collection of signatures will last until June 19. Registration of presidential candidates will be held from 5 to 14 July, after which starts the period of election campaign.