Belgazprombank case is transferred to the Supreme Court
The Prosecutor General’s Office has brought to court the criminal case against the top managers of Belgazprombank, as well as its former head and contender for the presidency of Belarus, Viktor Babariko. This was announced on January 21 by the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office Angelica Kurchak.
She stated that after examining the Belgazprombank case, the prosecutors came to the conclusion that the KGB had “comprehensively and objectively” investigated its circumstances, and the charges “fully correspond to the evidence collected in the case.” The criminal case will be considered in the Supreme Court of Belarus.
This week Belgazprombank was permanently headed by Nadezhda Ermakova, who previously headed the National Bank, and since June was the head of the interim administration of Belgazprombank, which the state appointed after the arrests of its top managers.
The Belgazprombank case was opened in the summer of 2020 at the beginning of the presidential election campaign. On June 18, Viktor Babariko, his son Eduard, and a number of other persons, mainly associated with Belgazprombank, were arrested.
The main claims against Babariko are that he illegally received money from private companies. The total amount is over 28 million rubles ($11 million). According to the investigation, the banker distributed them among the managers of Belgazprombank.
In July 2020, before the end of the preliminary investigation, some of the data from law enforcement agencies were announced by the Central Elections Commission. The head of the commission, Lidia Yermoshina, said that Babariko had controlled structures in offshores. For example, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina received information about the movement in 2008 and 2013 on the accounts of $232 thousand. They were spent in commercial shopping centers in Vilnius. Babariko is the ultimate owner of the card account. He also bought apartments in Turkey through offshore companies. Other similar facts were named.
In November 2020, the investigation was completed. The KGB then called Viktor Babariko “the organizer of criminal activity.” He was charged with bribery and money laundering. Other defendants were charged only with bribery.
Cases of violence by the security forces on August 9-11 can now be delayed indefinitely
Lawyer Sergei Zikratsky wrote on his Facebook page about the innovations in the Criminal Procedure Code. They allow the investigating authorities to suspend inspections for more than three months, with no upper limit on the timing. Based on his words, the Investigative Committee is using this norm now, delaying replies to some applications on violence by law enforcement agencies after the elections in August 2020.
While most of the amendments enter into force on April 14, 2021, the norm, which makes it possible to extend the checks for an unlimited time, is from January 14, 2021. According to the old law, the six-month period of checks on the applications of victims of the actions of the security forces on August 9-11 was supposed to expire in February.
Also, after the expiry of the verification period due to its suspension, the applicant should have been provided with either a decision to initiate a case or a refusal. Now the applicant will not be able to obtain these documents.
“Even the decision to refuse to initiate a case used to give us certain mechanisms such as familiarization with the results of the inspection and appeal against such a refusal,” Zikratsky explains.
BelNPP faced problems again
On the evening of January 16, the official Telegram channel of the Ministry of Energy of Belarus published a message that “the first power unit of the BelNPP was disconnected from the network after the generator protection system was activated.”
It also says that the protection system was triggered during the “pilot operation of the first power unit, within which systems and equipment are being tested.”
The Ministry of Energy assures that the background radiation near the station is normal.
The first power unit of the BelNPP was brought to full capacity on January 12.
On January 21, the first power unit of the BelNPP was re-connected to the grid after the shutdown.
“There is a planned increase in its capacity to the nominal in accordance with the program of the stage of experimental industrial operation,” the Ministry of Energy explained.
Belarusian tourism industry lost hope for recovery after the moving of 2021 IIHF WC
After it became known about the moving of the Ice Hockey World Championship from Minsk, the Republican Union of the Travel Industry received condolences from foreign colleagues from different countries. OL was told about this by the chairman of the Republican Union of Travel Industry Philip Guly.
“For hotels and Minsk tourist infrastructure, this is a cut thread of hope. However, this is far from the most important and serious problem of the national tourism industry! The colossal resistance of the fiscal authorities and the entire financial block of the government is aimed at any justification for the relaxation of taxes on profits, land, or real estate,” Guly says.
The industry today has to take into account that the tourism and hotel business will not be able to pay taxes, and the state budget will not receive money. According to the expert, the pandemic has reduced the domestic travel industry by about 75-85%.
The new top manager takes over Bosch in Russia and Belarus
The board of directors of the German company Bosch, specializing in the production of household appliances, has approved a new regional director. Steffen Hoffmann became President in Belarus, the Caucasus, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, and Central Asia.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Hoffmann headed the Bosch division in the UK for 6 years. He also has experience in South Africa and Japan.
Upon taking office, Steffen Hoffmann noted that the region he took over had good long-term growth prospects.
Unfortunately, localized production facilities of Bosch have not yet appeared in Belarus. The company considers this to be unjustified in a small market.
The previous regional head of Bosch in Belarus and Russia, Hansjürgen Overstolz, announced his retirement.
Lekpharm’s investor is considering the possibility of selling the Belarusian asset
The Economics Telegram channel reports that the Bulgarian owner of the Lekpharm enterprise, Rompharm, intends to sell the Belarusian business. Allegedly, a consultant for the deal, Raiffeisen Bank, has already been selected.
Officially, Lekpharm has not yet commented on this information. But, according to an OL source in the market, “the possibility of selling the enterprise is being discussed.”
It is not known to whom the Rompharm Company is going to sell the Belarusian business. So far Lekpharm is doing well, the company has made good money on the pandemic.
According to media reports, businessman Vladimir Adamovich sold his stake in the business (51%) to the Bulgarian investor in 2014. Then the profitability of the enterprise reached 57%.
It is also known that in 2013 Lekpharm sales were estimated at $30 million, in 2019 they increased to $71 million, and drug production reached $76.7 million. In 2019, the company exported products for $15.1 million (+6%).
The company specializes in the development and production of drugs that affect the cardiovascular system. It also produces drugs for the treatment of the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract, general anesthesia, cold and vitamin-mineral complexes.