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Bank and law firm employees suspected of sparking anti-bank campaign

25 february 2014, 14:12
The General Prosecutor's Office. ©Marat Abilov
The General Prosecutor's Office. ©Marat Abilov
A lawyer of one of the banks and employees of an Almaty-based law firm may be among those who started the anti-bank SMS-campaign, Tengrinews reports citing the official representative of the General Prosecutor's Office Nurdaulet Suindikov.

"Several people involved in spreading the misleading rumours have been identified and arrested. They have confessed and are cooperating with the police. Employees of one of Almaty-based law firms and a lawyer from one of the damaged banks are among the suspects," Suindikov said.

According to Suindikov, their testimonies and testimonies of witnesses are being carefully checked at the moment. "The law enforcement authorities are taking measures to identify all other people involved in premeditation and spreading of the knowingly false information. Depending on the circumstances of the case, they will either be charged in administrative or in criminal proceedings. The banks damaged by the campaign are already preparing their lawsuits to claim moral damages," he said.

The General Prosecutor's Office has requested the Kazakhstan Parliament to consider introducing a provision into the Kazakhstan legislation to toughen responsibility for spreading false information capable of inflicting serious damage and have irreversible severe consequences.

The information about alleged meltdown of three Kazakhstan banks - Alliance Bank, CenterCredit Bank and Kaspi Bank - has caused thousands of people to withdraw deposits form the said banks putting them under immense stress. “The information caused panic among the banks’ clients and mass money withdrawals from the bank accounts. This harmed the core banks of the country and escalated social tensions. Besides, they undermined the population's trust to the Kazakhstan banks,” Suindikov said earlier.

On February 11, 2014 National Bank of Kazakhstan devalued Kazakhstan's currency - the tenge - by almost 20%. The anonymous group took advantage of the people's fears amid the devaluation and started spreading alerts about an allegedly immanent meltdown of three large Kazakhstan banks. People felt the messages were easy to believes and started withdrawing their money from the bank deposits.

The Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov assured people that this information was false and completely groundless. He called everybody to stay calm.

Kaspi Bank set a $500,000 bounty trying to get someone to reveal the source of the dramatic rumour. But most of what the bank got were made up confessions and squealing.

By Assemgul Kassenova

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