VEB Fund Investigation Committee Asks for an Extension ({{commentsTotal}})

Vahur Kraft
Vahur Kraft Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Rainer Vakra, chairman of a parliamentary committee investigating the money trail in a defunct Soviet-era bank, asked for an extension of the deadline for submitting the final report.

Vakra submitted a bill to the Parliament’s board on Thursday, asking to extend the deadline for the committee's report to 23 September, reported today.

The committee was set up in March 2013 to investigate what appeared to some to be a botched attempt by Estonian officials in the 1990s to recover Estonian funds frozen in the bank. It was sparked by the revelation, in a central bank internal audit, that in 1995 someone at the Bank of Estonia misrepresented the true situation in order to try to recover money from the Russian Federation.

The plot thickened a few weeks ago, when it emerged that the former central bank governor Vahur Kraft submitted a forged document during a hearing last year.

Kraft had been called in to the committee in 2013 to testify on matters related to the original 1995 document, which said that a Russian company, TSL International, had a claim for 32.3 million dollars frozen in the Soviet-era VEB Bank.

An audit conducted by the Bank of Estonia in 2013 found that although the bank sent a letter to the Russian Federation government in 1995 saying that TSL International company had such a claim, the details were false.

One of the reasons for extending the deadline is the fact that the National Audit Office investigation into the VEB Fund issue was also extended and the volume of the work has increased significantly.

The committee was due to submit their findings by 7 April.