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PrivatBank accuses former owners of "fraud on an epic scale"

PrivatBank accuses former owners of "fraud on an epic scale"

Ukraine's Privatbank has accused its former owners of "fraud on an epic scale" at the opening of a London trial over the alleged siphoning of nearly $2 billion in bogus loans linked to ficticious commodity trades.

PrivatBank's lawsuit accuses Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov of orchestrating fake loans and supply agreements between 2013 and 2014.

Both men deny any wrongdoings in the case, which has been ongoing since 2017, a year after the bank was nationalised as part of a clean up of Ukraine's notoriously corrupt financial system.

Privatbank is seeking $4.2 billion in reparations over the loans, which were alleged by its lawyers to have been covered up by "money laundering on a vast scale".

In court filings, Kolomoisky's lawyer argued that PrivatBank's case was erroneous because the loans in question have been almost entirely repaid. Bogolyubov's lawyer denied outright that any funds were misapprropriated by the bank.

The case was due to be held last year but was held up by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It is viewed as a key test of president Volodymyr Zelenskiy's push to drive through reforms targeting oligarchs with shady political connections. Zelensky himself has denied having any ties to the business.

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