Timeline of events:

1991 onwards

  • Banca de Economii (BEM) was founded under state control in 1991 as a Soviet bank – an instrument of the state for financial transactions. Ilan Shor stated that during this period, the bank accumulated a bad debt of 7bn lei, which he discovered upon being made Chairman of the Board in May 2014 (Source: BBC).

2009

  • September: Vlad Filat became Prime Minister

2012-2013

  • State authorities were made aware that Moldovan banks faced financial difficulties, particularly Banca de Economii (BEM), due to a series of dubious loans made over the 10 years of previous administrations.
  • In November 2012 IMF issued a report warning about BEM’s critical capital levels, requiring urgent action.
  • This was later confirmed by a special Parliamentary Commission in 2013 which was created to look into BEM’s options. It found that the bank was experiencing financial troubles and data suggested that it had a substantial “hole” in its finances.
  • Ahead of upcoming elections in the country, Vlad Filat required Ilan Shor to help him save BEM.

2014

  • April/May: Ilan complied with Filat’s requirement that he assist in his plan to bail out BEM. He made this decision based on promises that Filat would, after his election, ensure that sufficient additional money would be injected into the bank to rectify its finances.
    Consequently, Ilan Shor was invited to the board in April on the recommendation of Russia’s Vnesheconombank and elected chairman of the Board of Banca de Economii in May. However, as it turned out later Filat did not keep his promises.
    Previous President of the bank – Grigore Gacikevici is currently under arrest and is being investigated for violations made while issuing loans during his tenure as president of BEM.
  • 28 November: Ilan Shor stepped down as the Chairman of the Board of Banca de Economii as the state took control of the bank.
  • November: Following financial difficulties, a special administration was introduced by the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) for the following three banks: Banca de Economii, Unibank and Banca Socială.

2015

  • January: NBM signed a contract with a US headquartered business intelligence firm, Kroll, to investigate activity at the bank over a restricted time period.
  • March: Ilan Shor held a press conference in which he stated that the “black hole” of debt was already apparent in 2013, when 47% of the loans in the bank was declared to be bad debt. This was as confirmed by the Parliamentary Commission. By the time he stepped down as Chairman, this percentage had decreased to 20%. Mr Shor also stated that banks’ problems were provoked ahead of elections in October 2014 when certain political groups urged the public to make a run on the bank, or risk losing their savings because there was “no money left”.
  • March/April: The first Kroll report was leaked by the Parliament Speaker, Andrian Candu.The report named Ilan Shor as having played an integral role in co-ordinating the activities which led to the bank collapse, suggesting he was one of, if not the only beneficiary.
  • In spring of 2015 the Prosecutor’s Office conducted large-scale procedures investigating the events in the Banks. Ilan Shor was detained and later placed under house arrest, which lasted until June 2015.
  • April: The Prosecutor General of Moldova stated to journalists that Kroll’s report cannot be used as evidence in criminal cases.
  • October: The NBM signed an agreement with Kroll for a second stage report.

    Ilan Shor voluntarily testified to the authorities and cooperated with the investigation in order to identify the true beneficiaries of the fraud. Based on Ilan Shor’s testimony and materials shared, corruption was unveiled and a number of public officials were later arrested and eventually convicted. Prime Minister Vlad Filat was questioned by the prosecutors, arrested on charges of corruption and put in the investigatory isolator.

2016

  • June: Charges were served against Ilan Shor. He was detained and put into investigatory isolator where he spent two months. After that he was transferred to house arrest. During the year following his arrest Ilan Shor has cooperated with the investigation, giving testimony in July and November 2016 on the true events.

    On 27 June 2016 the former Prime Minister Vlad Filat was sentenced to 9 years in prison for corruption. As confirmed by Reuters this sentence related to Filat’s role in the banking scandal.

2017

  • April: The NBM received an interim report about the progress of Kroll in their further investigations into the theft.

    20 April: Veaceslav Platon, a businessman also linked to the wider nexus of money laundering in the country (Laundromat) was sentenced to 18 years in prison for theft, fraud and appropriation within BEM case. Neither this nor Vlad Filat’s sentence has been documented in any of the Kroll reports.

  • June: Mr Ilan Shor has been under house arrest for one year. Exactly one year later, on 21 June, a hearing of first instance was held in Chisinau, Moldova during which state prosecutors sought a 19 year prison term for Mr Shor for money laundering and fraud. Judge Andrei Nikulcha ruled that Ilan Shor was not the beneficiary of the events leading to bank collapse. The judge requalified the charge and stated that Mr Shor should receive a custodial sentence for misuse of his official position and breach of fiduciary duty.
    Mr Shor’s lawyers will appeal the verdict, once the motivational judgement will be announced on 17 July 2017.