Ukraine’s anti-graft agency issues arrest warrant for ex-central bank governor

24 October 2022, 04:32 PM
Former head of the NBU Kyrylo Shevchenko (Photo:NBU / Flickr)

Former head of the NBU Kyrylo Shevchenko (Photo:NBU / Flickr)

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has put a former governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Kyrylo Shevchenko, and another two employees of state-owned Ukrgasbank, on the wanted list, the agency reported on Oct. 24.

In addition to Shevchenko, who managed Ukrgasbank before his appointment as central bank chief, the anti-graft agency has also issued warrants for Deputy Chairman of the Board Denys Chernyshov and Deputy Director of the Corporate VIP Clients Department Olena Khmelenko.

They are suspected of embezzling over UAH 200 million ($5.4 million).

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Shevchenko and other Ukrgasbank employees were served with charges in early October. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

The suspects have ignored summonses to an investigator since that time, which led to the declaration of the arrest warrants, NABU said.

Shevchenko announced his resignation from the central bank on Oct. 4, citing ill health.

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, accepted Shevchenko's resignation on Oct. 4 with 263 votes in favor of the decision.

On Oct. 6, Shevchenko was charged with embezzlement as part of an anti-corruption probe into illegal activities taken by Ukrgasbank – leading to losses over UAH 206 million ($5.6 million).

According to the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), the bank’s management – which included Shevchenko, who was chairman of the board at the bank from 2014 to 2020 – fabricated contracts with individuals and legal entities, who allegedly attracted large customers to the bank as “agents.” For their "services," the bank is said to have illegally paid monthly fees – leading to the multi-million-dollar losses.

This scheme is said to have created 52 fabricated “agents” in total, from 2014 to 2020.

Shevchenko was appointed NBU governor in July 2020 after Yakiv Smolii had abruptly resigned from the post, accusing the country’s leadership of putting pressure on the central bank.

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