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11.11.2017

Kroll and Steptoe & Johnson companies investigation report is in final drafting phase

 

Representatives of the investigation consultancy Kroll and the law firm Steptoe & Johnson visited Chisinau on 7 November 2017 to meet with representatives from a number of state institutions, in order to agree the structure and terms of the strategy for recovery of assets which were misappropriated following the bank fraud which resulted in the collapse of Banca d’Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank in 2014. The session was chaired by Prime Minister Mr. Pavel Filip and was attended by the Speaker of the Parliament, the Governor of the National Bank of Moldova, the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure, the Minister of Justice, the General Prosecution Office, the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (ACP) and the Agency for Recovery of Criminal Assets (ARCA).

The representatives of Kroll and Steptoe & Johnson submitted an updated version of the proposed asset recovery strategy, which takes into account the comments previously made by the representatives of the NBM, the ARCA, and the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office. During the meeting the participants covered, in particular, the procedures for initiating legal actions in multiple jurisdictions, including how assets might be recovered in more challenging jurisdictions where there was a lack of transparency over corporate structures and legal processes. 

The parties agreed that the implementation of the strategy will be a led by the Moldovan investigation and prosecution authorities, with the support of Kroll and Steptoe & Johnson. It will require the development of a framework for analysis and sharing of data obtained from investigations both at the national and international levels. The authorities in Moldova will also establish a working group which will direct Kroll and Steptoe & Johnson and receive regular updates of their progress.

The representatives of the international consortium also confirmed that the second investigation report is in the final drafting phase and is scheduled to be submitted in the next few weeks. The parties discussed the importance of both informing the Moldovan public and foreign partners about the investigation’s findings and, at the same time, the need to protect the investigation process and not to jeopardize the chances of recovery or criminal process. The consultations on the subject of the transparency and presentation of the investigation report’s conclusions are to continue. The representatives of Kroll and Steptoe & Johnson companies confirmed their readiness to cooperate with the General Prosecution Office and the ARCA office after the report’s delivery, in order to support the international fraud recovery effort, and to strengthen the evidence base in the procedures initiated at the national level.