President Victor Yushchenko held a consultative meeting with Security Service Head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, National Bank Chairman Volodymyr Stelmakh, First Deputy Head of State Customs Service Ihor Pinkovsky, Deputy Prosecutor General Tetyana Kornyakova, Deputy Head of State Tax Administration Natalia Ruban, representatives of Ukrainian major banks dedicated to fighting black market and corruption in banking sector.
Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko pointed to the growth of black market: last year which has reached 31.1% of GDP. "This is not a question of Government policy but the issue of national security", - President warned, adding that according to the World Bank estimates, the shadow sector of Ukrainian economy is over 50%. President Yushchenko urged the Security Service, NBU, law enforcement agencies to intensify efforts to protect the economic borders of Ukraine.
According to President Yushchenko the negative tendencies result from smuggling and corruption in customs bodies, shady transfers through payment systems and at interbank market with weakness of law enforcement bodies' activity in the economic field.
Viktor Yushchenko noted that over 70% of smuggling operations were carried out at boarder checkpoints. Vast majority of the smuggled goods at domestic market were cars and spare parts, light industry products, audio and video materials (two thirds), computers (more than a half) and household appliances, food (especially meat) , petroleum products, jewelry and luxury goods. Beside that channels of smuggling goods through the southern ports and at Ukrainian-Moldovan border have been restored.
The President also stressed assurance that the existence of shadow schemes would be impossible without involvement of banks. Striking evidence of that the President called the uncovering of the conversion center by the Security Service and Prosecutor General's Office at the end of May, through which currency funds were transferred abroad and smuggling was financed. "Banks that took part in this scam were the black market paymasters", - President said and added that in result of this illegal activity the state suffered losses amounting to 1 billion USD.
President Yushchenko warned the bankers present at the meeting against involvement in organization of such transactions and said that such involvement is impossible without its chairman knowing about it.