26 Aug 2009 13:26

Former chairman of Kazakhstan's Alliance Bank nabbed on suspicion of embezzling $1.1 bln

ASTANA. Aug 26 (Interfax) - Zhomart Yertayev, the former chairman of Kazakhstan's Alliance Bank, has been arrested on charges of embezzling $1.1 billion, Kazakh financial police spokesman Murat Zhumanbai said at a briefing in Astana on Wednesday.

"The financial police initiated legal action against the former management of Alliance Bank on suspicion of embezzling $1.1 billion," he said.

The charges were filed against Yertayev on August 24 and a warrant was issued for his arrest on August 25, he said.

Zhumanbai said that Alexei Ageyev, the bank's former deputy chairman, has been summoned as a witness in the case.

Alliance Bank announced it had revalued its assets on April 1. The revaluation is closely related to deals concluded in 2005-2008, which were not reflected on the balance sheet in a proper way. Within the framework of these deals the bank issued bonds secured by US Treasury bonds for roughly $1.1 billion.

Given this situation, the bank decided to suspend debt payments on a loan agreement that was due on March 19, 2009.

Alliance Bank ranked 20th by assets among CIS banks and fourth among Kazakh banks at the end of 2008 in the Interfax-1000: CIS Banks ranking.