Amber Gold was not work of single person: committee head

Małgorzata Wassermann, the head of the Amber Gold Parliamentary Investigative Committee says that it is not possible that a single person could conduct such a scheme.

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“There was not a single person behind the scheme. It is impossible. In my opinion, it shows clearly, that it is beyond the capabilities of everyone, especially a 28-year-old small criminal who, by that time, committed crimes such as forging a job confirmation for extorting a credit” the head of the committee added.

“After three years of work I have no doubts that Marcin P. [name withheld under the Polish privacy law] was a ‘straw man.’ He officially run this operation, but undoubtedly he was not the one who created this activity and conducted it in fact,” Ms Wassermann said.

A lot of evidence

Members of the committee will have two weeks to look the 700-paged report through and submit possible remarks. Ms Wassermann said that before the committee started its work, its members had to get familiar with the evidence of the case. “This was the largest evidence in the history of the Polish parliament: 18,000 volumes,” she stressed.

She also said that from the beginning of the committee work, it cooperates with prosecutors who run several investigations concerning Amber Gold. “Apart from Marcin and Katarzyna P., a total of 15 people have been charged,” Ms Wassermann said.

The head of the committee emphasised that it rates very low the activities of the government of the day. “Extremely badly we judge the activities of the secret services and the police ... as well as Mr Jacek Cichocki [the Interior minister in years 2011-2013],” she said.

She also added that the prosecutors’ investigations concerning the Amber Gold scandal were not run properly. “Majority of them were dropped prematurely,” Ms Wasserman said.

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Pyramid scheme

The so-called Amber Gold scandal involves the collapse of the Amber Gold shadow bank in 2012 which led more than 19,000 investors to lose over PLN 850 million (EUR 200 million) in total.

Amber Gold was offering interest rates to investors of up to 12 percent, more than twice the average for any bank. The company claimed it was investing in gold bullion, the price of which was rising sharply following the financial crash of 2008.

Following financial difficulty, the company’s branches closed in late 2012 and announced bankruptcy. Many of the people who had put their life savings in the company have still not received their money.