Former PM Rumas under pressure as associates get detained

Former Prime Minister of Belarus Syarhei Rumas is abroad, his wife said. According to independent media, Rumas’ associates, Henadz Sysoyeu, chairman of Borisovdrev, and Belagroprombank’s top managers are likely to be interrogated in a corruption case. Or they may even be in a remand prison. The KGB does not confirm, but does not deny the information about the detention of Syarhei Rumas. In the morning, a number of media outlets reported on the possible detention of the former Prime Minister. Later, Zhanna Rumas told TUT.by that her husband was abroad.

Mr Rumas served as prime minister from August 2018 to June 2020. This period included secret preparations for deep integration with Russia, the coronavirus epidemic, and the start of the election campaign with the appearance of political prisoners. All this time Syarhei Rumas was loyal to Lukashenka.

“What he was doing was (taking care of) nomenclature-power schemes, banking schemes. And the fact that in the Belarusian economy almost 30% of corporate revenue goes to banks – is, of course, also the merit of the banker Rumas,” says economist Yaraslau Ramanchuk, head of the Mizes research center.

However, on August 16, 2020, Zhanna Rumas posted a joint photo with her husband amid protests. The photo was later deleted. The director of the Symbal.by store Pavel Belavus mentions Rumas as the chairman of the Belarusian Football Federation as a patriot of our country who promoted the Belarusian language and symbols.

Yesterday, the portal TUT.by, citing three sources, said that in connection with the case of Rumas, top managers of “Belagroprombank” are, quote, “involved in a conversation with law enforcement agencies.” Henadz Sysoyeu, the former chairman of the Belinvestbank board and now the head of Borisovdrev, is also not available. Mr Rumas, as the former head of the Development Bank, was involved in the modernization of woodworking industry.

According to Andrey Stryzhak, co-founder of the BySol Foundation, information about the possible detention of bankers shows that those in power have plunged into absolute paranoia and started harassing people in the system.

According to Andrey Stryzhak’s sources, law enforcement officers are now checking all charitable projects related to the Development Bank, as well as the Turau dairy plant.

Vitaut Siuchyk, Belsat

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