Taking part in a debate following the screening of Sylwester Latkowski’s “Amber Gold Tapes: The Tricity Scheme Never Dies” which dealt with the collapse of Amber Gold shadow bank in 2012, former head of a parliamentary inquiry committee responsible for having investigated the case Małgorzata Wassermann said that the condition of the state and its institutions that surfaced as a result of the investigation was “tragic”. The “Amber Gold” collapse caused losses counted in millions to its clients.
Ms Wassermann of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party explicated that every single thread presented in the movie was analysed by her as part of the investigation.
She said that the “condition of the state, the institutions… was tragic. Three years we’ve been investigating the activities of the police, the prosecutor’s office, special services, tax office, aviation office, the activities of [then] PM [Donald Tusk] and that is how the nearly 600-pages-long report was born, numerous notifications sent to the prosecutor’s office, dozens of investigable threads… I hope, and I actually am convinced such is the case, that the current prosecutor’s office and services are investigating these threads, carrying out procedures. We await the results of all of this.”
The MP felt that former PM Donald Tusk, “the seasoned politician” that he is, was aware that the “humongous scandal that would involve his son” Michał Tusk, who, in turn, collaborated with the OLT Express Poland charter airline “would cost him a lot politics-wise.”
This is why, according to Ms Wassermann, “many ministries” went to an “awful lot of trouble” so that the prosecutor’s office and the inquiry committee would “encounter issues” during the investigation into the Amber Gold scheme.
The former head of the inquiry committee concluded that although she herself did not deal with the “Gdańsk scheme” but only with the Amber Gold pyramid scheme, she felt confident to confirm that “the people [embroiled in both scandals] interweave. Such coincidental helplessness of all offices is very unlikely.”
The collapse of Amber Gold
Mr Latkowski’s documentary seeks to answer the question of who stood behind the financial pyramid and whether the northern Polish Tricity elites covered up for the so-called Amber Gold scandal. The scheme 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 woes, the company’s branches closed in late 2012 and it announced bankruptcy. Many of the people who put their life savings in the company have still not received their money.
The trial of the founders of Amber Gold, Marcin P. and Katarzyna P. (names withheld due to Poland’s privacy laws) began in March 2016. In May 2019, the district court in Gdańsk, northern Poland, found them guilty of, among other things, financial fraud and deceptive conduct. The reading of the verdict may take several months due to the number of people aggrieved in the scandal.