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One billion dollars stolen from Moldova

Ilan Shor is accused of stealing $1 billion from Moldovan banks in a span of three days.

The money had been stolen in November 2014, and investigations have been taking place since then. The Moldovan central bank was so perplexed by the fraud that they had to hire a leading financial investigation consultancy named Kroll.

Kroll accused Shor as the mastermind behind the entire plot, but their findings and research have been confidential until now.

Shor has been charged with corruption and put under house arrest until more information arises about the major fraud. U.S private auditors have confirmed he used three Moldovan banks to issue massive loans to his private companies.

Shor is one of the richest people in Moldova, and is married to a Russian pop star. His family accumulated their wealth by setting up the country’s first duty shops.

Moldovan parliament finally published Kroll’s findings after thousands of people protested in the nation’s capital over the lack of work being done.

Freshman Akhilesh Reddy said, “People have the right to protest. $1 billion is a lot of money for such a small country like Moldova. It makes up almost an eighth of their entire GDP. If the money is not recovered, Moldova can have a huge economic crisis on their hands.”

About 10,000 protestors rallied in the nation’s capital on Sunday, May 3, 2015. Pro-western politicians promise to pull Moldova closer to Europe and their standards. Still, critics claim that authorities have done nothing to stop the corruption that can be seen plaguing Moldova.

Political analyst Igor Botan said, “Our country is a poor country. But its home to decent people who want their country to flourish.”

The report by Kroll said Shor and his associates bought controlling stakes in three Moldovan banks. They increased the banks’ liquidity through a series of complex loans between the three banks. Afterwards, the banks issued major loans to companies that Shor either owned or were associated with.

Over $767 million disappeared from the three banks over a course of days. Authorities estimate the total lost from the fraud could be about $1 billion. Portions of the money had been sent to offshore entities connected to Shor, or were deposited into Latvian bank accounts under the names of foreigners.

The World Bank has highlighted that this scheme could undermine or destabilize Moldova’s economy.

Freshman Hritesh Manda said, “How was all this money stolen with no one having any idea that this was happening? The fact that no one knew about it made it impossible for anyone to actually stop it.

Kroll highlights how the investigation is extremely difficult as lots of important electronic data has been deleted, including internal reports of action happening within the banks.

Adding on, a van transporting crucial information had been stolen and found burned with the files destroyed. Kroll recommends a full forensic investigation to recover the funds and find other beneficiaries.

How do you think $1 billion dollars were stolen without anyone noticing? Do you think other Moldovan officials are involved?

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