Alleged embezzlement scheme used at Amonatbonk reportedly costs Tajikistan TJS 31.6 mln

02/08/2016 09:18
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, August 2, 2016, Asia-Plus – EurasiaNet.org reports that Tajikistan’s anticorruption agency said it has uncovered an alleged embezzlement scheme at Amonatbonk (Tajikistan’s savings bank), suggesting the crisis gripping the country’s lending sectors extends beyond just the lack of liquidity.

The deputy chairman of the Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption, Davlatbek Khairzoda, said last week that the scheme has cost the government 31.6 million somoni (TJS).  Four bank employees are under investigation.

The timing is unfortunate since dwindling faith in the country’s private banks in Tajikistan has been driving many people to move their money to an institution perceived as being underpinned by state support.

Amonatbonk chief executive Ruhullo Hakimzoda revealed last month that the banking crisis has compelled many state and private enterprises to move their business to his bank.

In the first half of 2016, Amonatbonk’s client base for salary payments and bank card services increased by 20 percent, Hakimzoda said.  No surprise there since workers whose wage packets are serviced by banks like troubled private lender Tojik Sodirot Bonk (TSB) have experienced severe complications in getting hold of any of their cash, according to EurasiaNet.org.

“Besides that, Amonatbonk has seen an 11.8 percent increase in deposits, which is mostly accounted for by an outflow from other banks,” Hakimzoda said.

More customers have not translated into profits.  Hakimzoda said losses in the first six months of the year came in at 6 million somoni (equivalent to 760,000 U.S. dollars).

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