On Thursday, 11 June, searches are being conducted at the head office of Belgazprombank, as well as Privat Leasing, Centaur, and Campari. The spokesman for the State Control Committee said that the raid was connected to an investigation into tax evasion.
Presidential candidate Viktor Babariko headed Gazprombank for 20 years before resinging to launch his bid for the presidency. Commenting on the searches, he told reporters that this was to put pressure on him and people connected to him.
The Department of Financial Investigations (DFI) of the State Control instituted criminal proceedings under part 2 of art. 243 “Taxes and fees evasion on a particularly large scale” and under part 2 of art. 235 “The legalization of income obtained by criminal means on a particularly large scale.”
“At present, urgent investigative actions are being conducted. Representatives of commercial structures, former and current employees of the banking system are under criminal investigation as suspects,” the press service of the State Control said.
“What is going on today clearly shows that the current authorities are really ready to use any means not to let fair election in our country happen. More cynically, these actions are not aimed at me, they are directed at my friends, at the people I worked with. Why is this done?
Because there is no direct compromising evidence on me, and they hope that people will be intimidated, forced to tell lies, to incriminate themselves and other people. The only right response to the lawlessness is the continuation of our actions, the continuation of our struggle,” he said.
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Viktor Babariko is reportedly not on the list of suspects. Privat Leasing, which Lukashenko linked to an alternative presidential candidate, is also being searched. About ten FIU employees arrived there. Search operations are also being carried out at Kampari.
Its director is a member of Viktor Babariko’s initiative group. Also today, searches were conducted in the office of the Centaur Insurance Company. Earlier the authorities detained blogger Sergei Tikhanouski who lead peaceful protests and whose wife is running for president.
As of today, Viktor Babariko’s initiative group has collected more than 100 thousand verified signatures to nominate the altenative candidate for the office of the president of Belarus. Today, they planned to submit them to the district election commissions.