KYIV, Ukraine — When thousands filled the streets of Moldova’s capital on Sunday, their complaint was pretty significant.
Late last year, about $1 billion disappeared in an apparent banking scandal that’s mystified Europe’s poorest country.
To put that sum into perspective, it’s an eighth of the country’s GDP. In United States terms, that portion of the economy would add up to more than $2 trillion.
The money reportedly vanished in a series of murky loans dealt out last November by three major banks — one of them state-owned — to as yet unknown recipients.
Officials wised up to the scheme only earlier this year.
Investigators, including the US auditing firm Kroll, are looking into the matter but have released few details. The speaker of Moldova’s parliament finally released a report by Kroll late Monday night that implicated a Moldovan businessman in the scheme, but recommended further investigation.