The new management of Ukreximbank permitted Compliance Control Director Zhanna Yelagina to get off scot-free. She was quietly let go, although, before that, Yelagina was under internal investigation: she was caught facilitating the legalization of criminally obtained money for several companies.
She was quietly let go without any repercussions for her track record or reputation in general. Yelagina left the state-owned bank ‘upon the mutual agreement of the parties’, which essentially means with a clean slate and a possibility of future employment. Earlier, it was Aleksandr Gritsenko, CEO of the state-owned bank, who covered up for Yelagina; in fact, he was detained by the Security Service of Ukraine officers in November 2019 on suspicion of setting up a criminal organization (misappropriation, abuse of office, money laundering). Today, Ukreximbank Supervisory Board, under the capable guidance of the National Bank of Ukraine, “picked up the baton”. The board allowed the corrupt manager to leave the bank’s building without being held criminally accountable. This goes to show that NBU Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova, and also Olyana Gordienko, the newly elected chair of the state bank’s supervisory board, continue to cover up for Yelagina.
On April 24, 2020, Compliance Control Director Zhanna Yelagina was dismissed from the state-owned Ukrainian Export-Import Bank upon the mutual agreement of the parties under the recommendations of the Basel Committee, NBU Resolution No. 64). Her associates and accomplices who were also dismissed:
As a result, Yelagina was exempt from all responsibility for criminal schemes and quietly left the bank.
Meanwhile, the trail of her crimes is rather long:
Yevgeniy Metzger, the new CEO, who was appointed in February 2020, has dismissed Yelagina. However, as it has already been said, the dismissal was upon the mutual agreement of the parties, and, accordingly, the compliance control director was not criminally prosecuted.
The members of the supervisory board, the NBU Financial Monitoring Department and the NBU leadership all had the report on the internal investigation of the bank in regards to Yelagina in their possession but failed to take any action.
Today, we have many questions to all current members of Ukreximbank Supervisory Board (Strakhova, Butsa, Menu, Konovets, Chichlo, Urban) and others, who knew what was happening at the bank and did nothing:
From the outside, the situation is clear, as on February 23, 2020, Olyana Gordienko was appointed the chair of the Ukreximbank Supervisory Board. Prior to the appointment, Gordienko was the Corporate Governance Director at the ICU Group. Former NBU Governor Valeriya Hontareva, who brought in NBU Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova, was one of the co-owners of ICU. Hontareva uses Rozhkova to basically control the NBU now. There is no use in telling about the criminal schemes of Hontareva in detail, however, her company, ICU serviced both Yanukovych and Poroshenko. At that, before the appointment of Hontareva as the NBU Governor, Poroshenko invested nearly $2 million into ICU.
Besides, Tatiana Butkovskaya, the godmother of Zhanna Yelagina’s child, is a deputy department director – chief of the system analysis department at the very same NBU Financial Monitoring Department, who, in February 2020 alone, officially earned more than UAH 430,000.
As one can see, Yelagina’s ‘back’ was covered from all sides and the new CEO Metzger could only dismiss the corrupt manager upon mutual agreement of the parties, without bringing her to criminal account.
It is not entirely clear, whether he did it of his own accord or under pressure. It remains a fact, however, that one of the key criminals of a state-owned bank did not incure punishment.
The members of the supervisory board could not have been unaware, but they could have been subject to pressure by Olyana Gordienko and turned a blind eye. There are not very many options: either the members of the supervisory board are absolutely incompetent, or allowed themselves to be scammed, or are in the league working in compliance with the lawbreakers.
Ukreximbank CEO Metzger did not comment on the situation, and neither did the NBU officials. It would have been right for the law enforcement agencies but not for the representatives of the public to ask for the explanations. Their interest in the violations in the financial monitoring of the state-owned bank is long overdue.