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Justice Minister faces backlash over Amber Gold collapse

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.08.2012 11:29
Poland's Justice Minister has acknowledged that his position has been jeopardised by the collapse of investment firm and lender Amber Gold.
Minister Jarosław GowinMinister Jarosław GowinPAP/Adam Warzawa

Minister Gowin: photo - PAP/Adam Warzawa

“If the Prime Minister deems that I must face the consequences, then I'm at his disposal,” Minister Jaroslaw Gowin said in an interview with public broadcaster TVP.

Gowin revealed that the premier is awaiting an "in-depth analysis" from him concerning the matter, alongside reports from other ministers.

Fresh charges have now been brought against head of Amber Gold Marcin P. (full name withheld under Polish law), and the Justice Minister has acknowledged that grave questions need to be asked given that Marcin P. had continued to hold the reins of the company, in spite of previous charges.

“The most shocking thing for me is the question of how Marcin P. got a whole series of suspended sentences,” Gowin reflected.

“Marcin P. slipped through the net, and the question is to what extent that was by luck, and how much someone from a state institution helped him,” he said.

“It will be necessary to carefully examine the role of prosecutors, courts, tax offices and draw the consequences,” Gowin added.

Owing to a loop-hole in the law, Amber Gold had been functioning without an official banking licence.

Public prosecutors in Gdansk, where the company is based, began investigating the matter in 2011, although Poland's Financial Supervision Commission (KNF) informed them as early as 2009, the same year Amber Gold was founded.

It was not until the bankruptcy of OLT Express, a budget airline owned by the Amber Gold Group, that the matter started to make headlines.

Two weeks later, Amber Gold declared its own bankruptcy, leaving approximately 50,000 customers unable to withdraw funds, amid claims that 80 million zloty (20 million euro) is owed to clients. (nh)

tags: Amber Gold
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