Moldova $1 Billion: Missing Money Mystifies European Nation After Banking Scandal

Moldova is missing over $1 billion after European banks became the subject of a huge banking scandal. A bank is usually considered the safest place to keep your money, and thousands have flooded the streets in protest.

$1 billion is no mere “dent in the wallet” for the small European country, since it represents an eighth of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product, or the worth of a nation’s export, usually measured in the span of a year). For many of us not in the infamous “one percent,” that’s still a lot of money, and Ukraine neighbor Moldova is feeling the sting, being the poorest nation in Europe.

Having already struggled with Russia over control of its own borders in recent years, neighboring Ukraine still has its own challenges. It still faces pressure after U.S. paratroopers arrived in the nation, which could escalate fighting, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.

Moldova’s $1 billion-plus debt has caused a serious investigation, having not known where the money went. The culprit appears to be a series of loans that were never repaid, bankrupting lenders at Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala, and Unibank. Central bank head Dorin Dragutanu will initiate a second investigation by the end of May if the money cannot be traced.

The people are especially enraged, according to Business Insider, as thousands have joined the protest and vow to keep it going until the money is returned.

Parliamentary speaker Andrian Candu published on his website Monday what is claimed to be U.S. auditing firm Kroll’s report.

“There appears to have been a deliberate plan to gain control of each of the banks and subsequently manipulate transactions to gain access to credit, whilst giving the appearance to the contrary.”

Ilan Shor has been the president of Banca de Economii since May 2014, and as such, is among those named. He is said to be working with investigators to recover Moldova’s $1 billion debt, as his statement reflects.

“We’re actively cooperating with the investigation, we’re providing all necessary documents.”

“We’re more interested than anyone in finding out the truth about who stole from the bank starting in the 1990s and right up until 2013.”

Investigators claims that Moldova’s missing $1 billion is symptomatic of a trend of corruption that has plagued the European nation since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Similar alleged corruption is alleged to be the reason for Moldova’s election of the Communist Party into power, says USA Today.

What do you think happened to Moldova’s missing money?

[Image via National Bank of Moldova / Wikimedia Commons]