Impressive how Valdis Dombrovskis got away with it

Yesterday, I continued the interview with John Christmas, the author of the best-selling thriller-novel, KGB Banker, and will be publishing the interview later on today. John Christmas worked at Parex Bank, one of Latvia’s major banks until he blew the whistle on the bank’s large-scale practices of fraud, and money laundering and its connections to Russian criminal groups at the highest political level. Christmas had revealed that Parex Bank had failed not because of a housing market crash but because its funds were looted and stolen as it was used as a conduit for dirty Russian money parked in the West, mostly through offshore companies in Panama and elsewhere. Coincidentally, one of Parex’s Bank’s successors, ABLV was used as a money laundering conduit between the Azeris and Yorgen Fenech for the corrupt Electrogas power-station project.

One of the impressive things that John recounted during the interview was how the Latvian government tried to rescue Parex Bank in a fraudulent deal by which the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development made a profit. In 2009, the Latvian government, back then led by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis made a deal with the EBRD to supposedly bail out the bank. The EBRD was meant to buy a large stake in Parex Bank for €100 million and this move was meant to reassure the general public and investors that the bank was sound. What happened in reality was totally different from what was announced as the Latvian government actually paid the EBRD to buy a stake in Parex Bank only for the EBRD to sell it later on to the Latvian government at a higher price. This fraud was made with a bizarre put-option where presumably, the government itself sold short its own bank at an intended loss. The EU authorities approved of this measure which ended up covering up and extending the illicit behavior of Parex Bank through its successor, ABLV.

Valdis Dombrovskis misinformed the Latvian public on the health and practices of Parex Bank, duped investors and the general public about its illicit behaviour, and conspired to cover up its illicit practices. On the other hand, the EBRD not only enabled the continuation of Parex Bank’s money laundering and fraud with ABLV, but also profited from it with Dombrovski’s fraudulent deal. What’s most impressive in all of this is not only that Dombrovskis got away with all of this, he is today the Executive Vice-Commissioner of the European Commission on the Economy and is even responsible for the EU’s relations with the EBRD itself. Talk about full circle. I’m sure he is treated to lavish dinners by EBRD officials knowing that he is a good sucker for fraudulent deals.

The interview with John Christmas will be uploaded later today, but meanwhile, readers can get a copy of John Christmas’ book from this website or from all of Agenda’s bookstores.

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  1. Interview with John Christmas (Part 2) – Mark Camilleri

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