Episode 5 – And it was so beautiful
In this episode, viewers will have the opportunity to watch, among others an attempt by the company Art-B to save the endangered Ursus plant. Thanks to this business, Andrzej Gąsiorowski and Bogusław Bagsik entered the world of media. The newspapers began to wonder, who the mysterious businessmen are, and how they managed to reach such impressive property. The media raced in guesses, asking themselves the question “did they cheat or did they not cheat? „? How did the great scandal began? And who really was a victim?
Oscar-nominated Aneta Kopacz in the documentary series „ART-B. Made in Poland” produced by Canal+ Discovery Channel. Sensational documentary series about the life and career, ups and downs of the owners of one of the largest private company in Polish history. Art-B company founded and owned by Bogusław Bagsik and Andrzej Gasiorowski, in 1990-1992 created a network of 600 daughter companies in 50 countries around the world. The company achieved a revenue of $22.5 billion in eighteen months, which is higher than Orlen’s revenue in 2015. (the largest Polish oil corporation).
00:09 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: We never made money on the “Oscillator”. We earned 18,000% a year on debts annihilation. Not a word about this anywhere – neither in the media, nor in the allegations. We made money on international transactions, and currency exchange. The Oscillator not exists in any official report. Except for alleged crimes committed by us, formulated by the prosecutor’s office Oscillator never existed. Just as there is no Sainta Close, nor Snow White.
00:45 subtitles: Discovery Networks Europe presents, Art-B. Made in Poland. photos: Michał Gruszczyński, Remigiusz Wojaczek; sound: Michał Leśniewski; editing: Agata Schultz, Marek Klimaszewski; production: Bongo Media Production. Mikołaj Wit, Dariusz Goczał; director: Aneta Kopacz
01:00 (archival materials) On June 4, 1989, Communism ended in Poland. We, the nation. We, the people
01:54 subtitles CHAPTER 1. URSUS. April 1991.
02:03 journalist of TVP News (archival materials): Good evening. Ursus has been bankrupt since March. It turns out that he lost his total creditworthiness and for July the crew will not receive their salary.
lector (archival materials): Art-B company bought all the production of the Ursus tractors factory.
There was a lot of talk about Art-B, when she hurried to help Ursus from bankruptcy. The Art-B company was famous for purchasing the annual production of Ursus factory. Bagsik and Gąsiorowski bought 25,000 tractors from the Ursus factory. They announced, that they would sell them with profit.
02:31 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The first article about me, as far as I remember, is that a company unknown to anyone, was a mysterious savior of Ursus. Was that something? It was my first entry into the world media. I was a mysterious savior. The Minister of Industry comes with request to the company Art-B offering cooperation with the Polish state. To rescue three key enterprises. It was Ursus (producing tractors), it was some Bizon (producing agriculture combines), and a refinery.
03:07 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: Fact that factory Ursus was in very big problems was known to us. At this point the Minister of Industry did not create any illusion.
03:21 Prof. Antoni Dudek, political scientist, member of the Council of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN): Throughout the whole 1990, and the beginning of the 1991 tractors were laboriously produced. As if not paying attention to the fact, that no one actually buys them anymore. Apparently, all those empty streets around the plant were filled with manufactured tractors, that no one needed.
03:38 lector TVP News (archival materials): Art-B continues to declare assistance and guarantees sales of 4,000 tractors per month. But it has a condition: continuity of production must be maintained.
03:46 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: Ultimately, we were interested in the Asian market. For example, we wanted to acquire engines from Korea, specific equipment from Taiwan. We were in this contact with Chrysler.
04:05 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: We wanted just to sell these tractors to countries, where they were needed. And we knew, how to take money back for them, how to increase production, supply and demand. In the same way later on to do with Bizon agriculture combains. The same way with the refinery. If it succeeded then, we would be in a very short period of time a very powerful corporation dealing with heavy industry. Because then we didn’t have it yet.
04:34 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: Now, after so many years, I will reveal some more details. Yes, we did took URSUS on our shoulders. Not because we need it. It was the cost for other operation as it was agreed with Misister of Industry for taking over the largest refinery – Mazowieckie Zakłady Przemysłu Naftowego (today’s Orlen).
04:51 Prof. Witold Orłowski, Economist: That is, in economic terms – useless. But politically, it had some value.
04:55 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: Politically? – even worse
04:57 Prof. Witold Orłowski, Economist: Yes. As it turned out, even worse.
05:00 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: We knew then, that this is a very big problem.
04:34 Bogusława Bagsik, President of Art-B: But I agreed, that we would bear these costs. And that we will support Ursus saving them. In exchange for option to buy Mazowieckie Refinery Plant (today’s Orlen).
05:00 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B (archival materials): We are constantly expending the markets we acquired to sale tractors. As soon as it is possible for Ursus to guarantee three, five or ten-year contracts and maintaining production continuity we will proceed with implementation of our commitment. At the moment we guaranteed to sell 80,000 tractors.
05:34 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: We couldn’t deposit money into the company bank account to start to move on. It would be confiscated immediately by the receiver. It would be good for nothing. Thats why we were literally delivered cash by trucks to Ursus. Ursus workers were paid their salaries outside factory gate. Shortly after settling situation in this way, and focusing to support man – because man is always the most important thing – they announced general strike. Because “Jewish communists are buying Ursus”. So, first they got our money, so they could eat. And when they had eaten, they came up with the idea, that they would strike.
06:13 lector TVP News (archival materials): Warsaw, February 22, 1991. 09:30 a.m. Official statement No. 1.: Today, members of the Coordination Committee of the Independent Trade Union “Solidarity” of the Ursus Tractor Industry Association started an occupational strike in the management building.
strikers (archival materials): People just get tired of promising them something over and over again. Human expectations are on the verge of endurance.
04:34 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: So, the credibility of the entire project in this moment has fallen to zero.
06:54 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B (archival materials): Awful atmosphere. Well, but something must be done about it. To sell these Ursus, and get out safe from this situation.
07:02 lector TVP News (archival materials): The company has lost its creditworthiness. On 2 July, new management was appointed. A closed conference was held to assess the situation. Polish Prime Minister Bielecki was invited.
07:10 Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, Prime Minister of Poland (archival materials): If we are acting in this way, then the question about the sense of reforms in this country is simply being questioned.
07:23 inscription: Excerpt from an interview with Prime Minister J. K. Bielecki from the book: “ONA – Behind the scene of the Polish State.”
Prime Minister J. K. Bielecki: “When I was in Ursus in July 1991, I already knew it was a dangerous group. I was shocked when I saw Gasiorowski in the room. As an expert representing crew! In addition, he was the only one, who was really aware of what was going on there. I was furious!”
07:56 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: During this press conference he asked me a simple question:- “Where do you have the money from?”. How would I answer such a question today? I’d say, – “it’s a long story.
08:21 subtitles: CHAPTER 2. OSCILLATOR
08:23 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: I was telling about transactions, contracts, foreign markets. About saling tractors to Columbia, Africa, Asia. I started with this subjects. That was the main topic I was talking about. The Oscillator was a collateral thing.
08:43 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Journalists who did not study the subject so much, but they decided, that it is necessary to explain it to the readers, to TV viewers, or radio listeners what this Oscillator is. They pointed out, that this is, in short, double interest rates of funds on bank accounts, transferred from one bank to another by checks.
09:05 journalist News TVP (archival materials): The company took a check from a bank, and quickly, for example, by helicopter transported it to another bank at the other end of the country. In this way, for several days, the company was receiving interest from both banks, because correspondence between banks always takes a while. And there were multi-billion dollar sums at stake, so the percentages were high.
09:51 Prof. Witold Orłowski: Both banks charge interest. Well. Is it legal? If a person unknowingly pays money from a bank, takes it to another bank, makes a deposit – and if it happens that both banks charge interest, it is actually not his fault. Yes? The bank made a mistake in calculating interest rates. That’s the bank’s fault. Bank should know, that this money is practically gone. And this is the legal loophole.
09:46 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B (archival materials): Is the citizen not entitled to pay the check one day, and pay the other day to another bank account? I think he certainly can do it. And the fact, that interest for five days, or more is added by all banks on this account, is not a citizen’s problem, but this is a matter of the banking system.
10:04 Prof. Witold Orłowski: Of course, we could say:”It is dishonest” in situation, when someone transfers a check from one to another bank and he knows, that banks: two banks, three banks, or four banks they will pay interest for the same money.
10:20 Andrzej Topiński, p.o. President of the National Bank of Poland in 1991: Everyone in the media wrote about the Oscillator. But the gentlemen from Art-B played a completely different game. This double interest rate episode was financially significant only in the early stages of operations. However, later on Bagsik and Gasiorowski used it just as a smokescreen for their credit operations.
10:42 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: We officially resigned…by giving relevant instructions to all banks.…from collecting interest. Therefore, the issue of multiple interest is irrelevant. That all is in the documents, and can be verified.
11:00 Prof. Witold Orłowski, Economist: When did you resigned from interest? Question is, whether you gave up, when the problem was already known?
11:06 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: No no. Right at the very beginning. On regular base we analysed all things that were happening. And analyses have shown us that very soon it could be quite not funny situation. That the increase of these percentages can be tragically fast, and tragically large.
11:29 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: “If they didn’t earn from interest, so how did they earn?” -someone may ask a question.
11:34 Andrzej Topiński, p.o. President of the National Bank of Poland in 1991: The essence of this case was getting credit lines through local banks from the National Bank of Poland, and using this money for various purposes. We knew about the purchase of tractors. the purchase of the art collection.
11:50 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: The idea was to make from one check let’s say, worth 10 million złotych, then to make a dozen, or several hundred checks, each of them worth 10 million złotych. So it was about multiplying checks. About creating money, that were not existing before.
12:10 Bogusława Bagsik, President of Art-B: I used the Oscillator only to transfer in fastest possible way our money from point A to point B, in order to always have access to my own money. And not to be in the position, in which the bank used to treat their clients: as a petitioner, that must lean before the window in the bank, and politely ask, to be allowed to use his own money. That was the only reason to use Oscillator. We were not bank petitioners. We are not, and we will never be. And I started the transaction saying: “Today this is my proposal. I will pay you so much.” And someone says: – “Well, if you pay me today, then you have a deal”. And he laughed, knowing it would take two or three weeks to organize money. Then I said: – “Well, let’s go to the notary. I pay today. There is no problem.” I alway won by having immediate access to my money.
13:16 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: That generated so-called “empty money” that after circulating through several banks, at the end returned to the first bank.
13:26 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: It was not possible from the so-called “Oscillator” to sum up income from e.g. 100 transactions per day and to say: – I have now access to daily interest rate from all 100 transactions. because only at the end of the monthly period balance of all operation was known to bank.
13:40 lector: Let’s ilustrate the mechanism of “Oscyllator”: 68 bank branches participated in Art-B operation. Art-B had over there business accounts. Let us assume that 1 billion złotych is located in Bank A. Based on a check from bank A, Art-B pays one billion to bank B. Then, based on a check from bank B, pays one billion to bank C. At this time, Art-B has already access to total of three billion zlotys in three banks. Here appears the so-called “empty money” which are two billions in banks B and C. Art-B repeats this operation in one day at N banks. At the very end of the operation called Oscillator, Art-B returns check to bank A from the last of the banks from N. At this time, bank B sends by post a debit note to bank A. The postal route to receive debit note lasts an average of 10 days, but in extreme cases, up to 49 days. Meanwhile, within 10 days Art-B had already deposited funds in dozens of banks. As a result, several dozen billion zlotys are credited to their accounts. It can be assumed, that Art-B has access to one billion zlotys in all bank branches throughout Poland, where it has a business account. At the same time, the bank gets interest from one billion zlotys, and they show it on their balance. Let’s return to interbank settlements. Bank A transfers to Bank B through the regional branches of the National Bank of Poland one billion zlotys. Other banks send debit notes to each other, which will be implemented by the National Bank of Poland during the following weeks.In the final settlement, Art-B balance will return to its initial state, which is one billion zlotys.The condition is, that postal interbank settlements finally catch up after a few weeks or months, the route of Art-B checks.
15:20 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: Art-B from all of this transaction effectively received income of only 15 mil (new) zlotys. Not 400 millions, not 4 billions. Just 15 million zlotych. Comparing it with capital turnover, meaning: balance of profit to revenue, is just 0.07% Minus banking penalty interests, minus operational costs. Oscillator’s final balance was minus 10 million (new) złotych. Such is the Oscillator’s balance for today.
15:46 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Banks were delighted to be able to serve such client, because they were making money. Interest remained in the bank. Each bank earned not only a commission, but it also earned interest. At the end of the day, the more checks for larger amounts went through the specific brach of the bank, the better results were for that branch. The headquarters praised employees: “Well, you are doing great”. So to put it briefly: The Oscillator, the closest wording to the truth is: Fast circulation of checks between different banks. Practically, all banks in Poland, even cooperative banks all their branches in all cities, regional capitals,and small cities took part in this operation.
16:32 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: During this conference (in Ursus) I showed to Prime minister, how much all banks could earn money from the operation named later by us as “Oscillator”. Not how much our company earns, but how much banks could earn. Or how much government agencies could earn. And then suddenly someone like us appeared, that from this new created transitional financial systemmade unlimited profits, it would seem so could think about us. And that we could do whatever we want. Maybe we could buy the entire Ursus factory paying with one check. And next day, maybe to buy the shipyards day after, maybe the coal mine. And that raised suspicions. When I think about this deeper, if I were the Prime minister, then who knows, I would probably react the same way. Perhaps I would.
17:26 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: When I came back to Poland after so long exile, 23 years later, I’ve got that famous book: “ONA, behind the scenes of the Third Polish Republic.” In it this book, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki (fr. Prime Minister) gave an authorized interview, therefore I think he was aware what he was saying, so I am taking his words literally, as he said them. He said: “Art-B did not progress, because we have ruled” (that is, the government of Bielecki, Leszek Balcerowicz, and liberals.) “We exterminated…” -such are the words of fr. Polish Prime Minister, “…Art-B operationally…” -meaning by using secret services, “…and after by using any legal means”. If someone is guilty, first the law applies, and later secret services are used. In my case higher reason of state policy probably has occurred. If he believed in all stories, he really had to block anything happening over there. Then to put me in prison, to interrogate, to get some conclusions. And then just to apologize saying, that someone made mistake. Unfortunately, this is how the state works.
18:25 inscription: Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki refused to participate in the film.
18:31 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: Indeed, if we made public this knowledge about how the Oscillator could be used, then it would be quite a problem. Because if everyone will start use this mechanism, that would lead to a significant shift of national finances, into so-called private speculative sector. And at that time the Polish state was just at the beginning of its existence. It had no money, no structures, it had nothing. That was a conversation, that cost us total extermination.
18:59 subtitles: CHAPTER 3. SCANDAL. July 1991.
Surname: Andrzej Gąsiorowski, born: June 26, 1959
Surname: Bogusław Bagsik, born on 08.04.1963
Banking gangsters. Every month Poland is loosing $300 million. Great fortune from empty money.
19:22 journalist: There are many question marks throughout the case. It is not known for example, how much Art-B owes to its debtors? It may turn out, that its debts are greater than deposits – writes Gazeta Wyborcza.The main suspect in the Art-B case, Bogusław Bagsik, is accused of seizing public property worth over four billion old zlotys.
19:42 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: After Ursus transaction, activities around Art-B, and interest about Art-B of various secret services sped up. Things started to happen very quickly.
19:57 Andrzej Milczanowski, Head of the State Protection Office 1990-92, Minister of the Interior 1992-95: From what I can recall, I did inform Prime Minister Bielecki about this case.
20:12 subtitles: “Some time later, Milczanowski came to me and said, that he had sufficient evidences to arrest them.”
20:16 col. Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: Applications for their detention were submitted to the prosecutor’s office. Request for their detention were submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
20:24 inscription: Excerpts from the series: “Secret Services” dir: Patryk Vega
20:33 Zdzisław Gąsiorowski, father of Andrzej Gąsiorowski: Andrzej was in Wałbrzych. He said: “Dad, I have to go to Wroclaw.” Then he went. I didn’t see him again. I just found out where he is from the press. He called me from Hanover. He said: “Dad, you probably know where I am.” I said: “I know, because I was looking for you in Wroclaw and I did not find you. But I found out anything later on not from you, but from the media. But it’s good that you are alive, and that you are calling.”
21:00 Bozena Gąsiorowski, wife of Andrzej Gasiorowski: Andrzej called and said: “Listen, pack up. Take not too many things, it’s for a short time. “Take passports.”Which surprised me a bit. But I know that Andrzej likes all sorts of adventures, so, maybe we will go somewhere abroad. “Do not take too many things, because we will buy on the way.” “Just take the children, passports, and come.”
21:24 subtitles: CHAPTER 4. DIRECTION: GERMANY. August 1, 1991
21:28 Jerzy Dziewulski, Policeman and anti-terrorist: I called to Andrzej Gąsiorowski. And he said: Listen, we have to go abroad urgently. So contact us over there after a while. And the next day, of course, I hear from the media about what is going on.
21:45 Journalist TVP News (archival materials): Good evening. About the company Art-B is still loud. Why President of Art-B Bogusław Bagsik was allowed to travel abroad?
21:54 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: In Poland a monstrous campaign agains us has been launched. As if we were responsible for the first, second and future third world war. There were no any formal allegations, no official accusations. Of course, massive media negative shower was launched against us.
22:13 subtitles: “Musicians in hell.” Gazeta Wyborcza: “Bankers in custody”. “Art-B escapes.” Rzeczpospolita: “Swindle of all swindlers”. Rzeczpospolita: “Banking scandal.” “Where are the heads of Art-B?”
22:24 colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: I presume, that someone warned them. I have no evidences about this.
21:45 TVP lector (archival materials): Behind the Art-B scandal there is also a political scandal. Former minister in the Chancellery of the President, Maciej Zalewski, was accused of warning the Art-B’s owners about the threat of their arrest. Earlier, he had extorted from them 57 billion old zlotys.
22:47 Katarzyna Nazarewicz, journalist dealing with the Art-B case: Two contradictive versions. No one has proven, which is true. The first one: that Zalewski through a journalist have warned them. The second one: that they were going on vacation, and completely by accident they found themselves in Israel. I don’t believe in this one.
23:05 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: I received information from someone referring to Minister Zalewski. She was a right-wing journalist. Yes, she knew the minister.
23:19 Jerzy Dziewulski, Policeman and anti-terrorist: Such “Escape” would be very well seen. For those politicians, who took money from them. And who did not gave this money back. Because they were such people. It is better to chase the “bunny”, because we say: “We are chasing him.” But if we catch him, the “bunny “may say something. Therefore, is better not to catch him.
23:23 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The odium, that we “have escaped” is the most perfidious element of social engineering that was used by secred services agaist us. When we left Poland on August 1, 1991 along the way had disappeared Magda Bagsik and her four sons.
23:42 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: It was one of the most difficult time in my life.I was quite desperate. If the situation did not clear up, I was able to activate very desperate moves.
24:20 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The first day: – she is gone. The second day: – she is gone. The third day: – she is gone. So, The first theory: “Maybe they were kidnapped by someone? But no one called for the ransom. “Maybe they had an accident?” But no such thing was reported throughout their entire route. Being a doctor, looking at a friend being traumatized and hypnotized by fear, something had to be said. It was not wise. For me the option to say: “Listen, perhaps secret services are holding them, “because they want to talk to us about all topics a little bit closer it was better, than telling him: “Someone killed them, and cut them into pieces.” Because at this point, everything was taken into account. If today someone had as much money as we had then, and his wife and four sons would disappear, and someone had as much money, as we had then, what would someone think? Everything. Bogus was in a terrible condition. And he probably believed in this version. He start calling to some officials in Warsaw. He began to throw heavy epithets to them there. At the very end he made a statement:“Great. We will send Israeli agents on Interpol passports to Poland. And if we will find out, that just a only a little bit Polish secret services are related to this disappearance, then…” Bogus shouted, what he would do to them. Magda was finally found by Interpol through her credit card in the nearby hotel. Fortunately she went shopping to buy something, and it jumped out, that she was around. So Interpol brought her to our hotel. She was very surprised, that there was any problems at all. That here we almost initiated an armed conflict between two states. Thanks to our theories, instead of waiting for Magda just to be found, we caused the global explosion of so called “Art-B scandal”.
26:13 inscription: Excerpts from the series: “Special Services”. Director: Patryk Vega
26:18 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: I called then to Pęcice (palace), to Wspólna (offices). That I want all civilian employees to go home. To secure 30 local cars (Polonez) over there there, and 10 fast ones, and helicopters. Some of the analysts from special services listening to our conversations through wiretaps reported, that in a moment there will be an Art-B attack supported by Mossad agents. Someone probably wanted to win a med against us al in battle, and he send against us all these units of armed people, in order to eventually intercept such agents.
26:50 col. Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: Any such action must be secured from the physical side as well. That is, we never know, how the person that we are going to deal with will behave. Because there are different situations: someone could jump out the window. It is hard to say, what could happen.
27:11 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The assault on Pecice palace was made on 4th of August 1991. Four days after our departure.
27:16 lector TVP News (archival materials): The search at the company’s premises was called by Art-B President “an igniter of actions against Art-B in the style of Polish hell”. He also added, that all previous financial audits have shown, that the company’s activities are in accordance with Polish law.
27:25 inscription: Excerpts from the series:”Special Services” directed by Patryk Vega
26:50 col. Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: To secure this action from the physical side, it was necessary to ask the police for some 80 people, who would protect this operation. Because the State Protection Office did not have such aids. So they secured, just like today also the police enters being assisted by anti-terrorist squads, correct? And then there was no such thing. It was difficult to borrow from the police for all day around the clock several dozen people. So, this function was fulfilled very well by the GROM employees (anti-terrorist squad). I talked personally to Petelicki (GROM commander) that he somehow would give us protection for this action.
28:25 Irena Popoff, Spokesperson of the State Protection Office (UOP) (archival materials): The officers of the State Protection Office carried out searches in some banks, and in the offices of Art-B. Against five persons under investigation the prosecutor’s office applied a preventive measure in the form of pre-trial detention. The investigation is to be continued.
28:41 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: Some officer of special forces called intercom of the gate (of Pecice palace). He shouted to open it. Then without waiting for door to be opened the armored car smashed this gate.
28:54 colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the State Protection Office: There was a watchman, who refused to open the gate. So, from what I remember, when Petelicki reported to me later, member of GROM anti-terrorist squad who was GROM squad commandor, someone over there didn’t want to open the gate after search warrant presentation so they smashed the gate with armed car, and entered. And they did right. And that was all.
29:23 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: In Pęcice palace, one of my bodyguards disarmed the number of special forces offices who wearing masks rushed with Kalashnikov guns into the kitchen to scare the cook.
29:44 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: Yoel, our guest from Israel was a former commando of Sayeret Matkal (Israeli special forces). He visited his fiancee, my secretary, by the way. He reacted instinctively, when he saw some commando masked with a gun pointed at him. Yoel disarmed him, put the weapon the other way around. It ended up a bit strange, because in the headquarters of Art-B from what I heard, first they stormed into the next door apartment. By mistake.
30:19 inscription: Excerpts from the series: “Special Services” directed by Patryk Vega.
30:38 commando (movie scene): F***, this is some mistake. What is apartment number here? Mistake! What is the apartment number here? Mistake! Mistake! What’s the apartment number here? What number? What is the apartment number?
30:42 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: When it was already discovered, that this is not proper appartment,attempt was made to storm into Art-B headquarters where door were opened by General Edwin Rozłubirski. So men in balaclavas saluted him automatically. The general asked them, not to smash the door, but just to enter, because there is no emergency situation. Then a group of children from my former school from Wałbrzych entered the offices. They were on the way to Israel. And we had the gendarmerie, GROM.
30:54 Colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: I had 17 or 18 squads that were storming in, and informed me about it. It was whole stuff involved. It was impossible for one person to embrace such whole operation. There were about 20 places designated to conduct the search, not necessarily to detaine people. But to search, where we expected there might be Art-B documents, financial resources.
31:24 subtitles: CHAPTER 5. Debit of 4,242,500,277,663 zlotych.
31:46 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The explosion was done. Therefore we had a other problem: From one side banks, but it is hard to talk to banks, when such scandal is exploded in another country. So everyone right away: “Wow !!!” “We don’t want to talk to you anymore.” We faced a threat of corporate cashflow gridlock, what was a serious problem. Somewhere we have money, deposits, but there was the blockage. So, we had to do something, to eliminate such blockage.
32:06 Colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: When Polish National Bank implemented telegraph settlement system for checks payments then the Oscillator system could not work. Because settlements took place immediately. No more excessive amount of time was required for one bank and the other bank to make mutual settlements using post.
32:31 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Huge debit appeared in the bank first one, second one, or in third one.
32:43 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: History of debet at the BHK bank: There was a big pressure on banks from the Banking Inspectorate Office to simply block our transactions, to terminate our accounts, to prevent our operational cash flow. And the last bank who didn’t surrendered to such pressure was Agrobank and bank BHK.
33:00 Andrzej Topiński, p.o. President of the National Bank of Poland in 1991: I my memory I can not recall blocking Art-B accounts.I do not know as well, on what legal basis it would happen. What has happened, the decision has been introduced at the end of July 1991, maybe it was in August about telegraphic transfers. This decision caused, that all these balances of these all accounts of these all companies fell on bank BHK. They were revealed. This amount of four and a half billion zlotys it was before, only it was scattered, it was not consolidated. If this mechanism continued to rotate, then at the time it would not reveal itself, but those debt would continue to swell.
33:46 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: When preventive measures are taken to secure debt relief before it is happened, then it’s not a criminal case. Therefore, we invited Ryszard Janiszewski who was the representative of the owners of bank BHK, and Board members to fly over to Hannover with purpose to determine mutual position and signing the agreement, that would specify our settlements, and the possible situation between us, the potential debtor, and the bank, the potential creditor.
34:22 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Representatives of the bank from Katowice received from the President and Vice President who were acting on behalf of company Art-B all assets of company.
34:46 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B (archival materials): In principle, the Hanover Agreements were only for a transitional period, until the balance on accounts are adjusted within a week. That’s how it was planned. Within a week, or ten days.
34:43 journalist from Teleexpress Katowice (archival materials): Since yesterday, bank BHK is the new owner of Art-B. Its current owners have stated, that they resign from their functions in the Board of the company on the company’s management board. All of their corporate shares, and 120 billion złotych they handed over to this bank.
34:54 subtitles: CHAPTER 6. Hanover Contracts. August 4, 1991
35:00 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: In Hannover two agreements were concluded with the bank BHK. None of these agreements gave the ownership of Art-B to the bank. Due to the fact, that we were outside of Poland, we could not carry activities, that the law requires that they have to be notarized. Hence, we conditionally transferred corporate rights, that the bank,after returning to Poland could perform these activities.
35:46 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B (archival materials): There was no intentions to waves our rights of the company, to loot the company, to steal the company. Simply, it was a situation: I owe someone something, someone doesn’t trust me, I pledge to him my assets as collateral.
35:42 inscription: The Hanover Agreement between Art-B and BKH of August 4, 1991.
lector: Bagsik and Gasiorowski further declare, that they are transferring the ownership of the above shares to bank BHK in Katowice, to secure all the bank’s receivables arising from the debit loan, as a result of issuing by Art-B checks, payable from the account of bank BHK, branch in Wrocław. Upon fulfillment by the company Art-B from the whole commitment, referred as above, ownership of the shares comes back to the Art-B shareholders, without the need of creating a separate agreement.
36:15 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Bank BHK representatives were cunning: “And what will happen, if Art-B wealth is not enough? Then give us also shares of this company. But what ia a value of such shares? We don’t make an evaluation.”
36:28 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: Unfortunately, the bank came up with the idea, that the so-called “transfer of ownership for security” must be treated, as the final transfer of ownership. Bank registered itself within the shortest time as the sole owner of Art-B shares.
36:50 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Art-B was taken over by bank BHK, which became its owner. And BHK put Art-B into liquidation.
36:58 TVP program (archival materials)
36:58 Katarzyna Nazarewicz, journalist dealing with the Art-B case (archival materials): Debt of Art-B to bank BHK is automatically the debt of BHK to the National Bank of Poland. Is it correct, Mr. President?
37:07 Andrzej Topiński, c.a.President of the National Bank of Poland in 1991 (archival materials): This debt arose, because that according to the inter-banking settlement system, which is currently living up its last days, but it was in force at the time, when Art-B was conducting this activity, the National Bank of Poland credited the so-called check path.
37:26 Colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: It was mainly about the State Treasury. And about Let’s say, the collapse of the Polish Banking System. It threatened to break down the functioning of the banking system.
37:40 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The National Bank of Poland, who had nothing to do with it at all, nor the State Treasury, they were by the Prosecutor included. That way a situation arose, where we allegedly caused damage to the Treasury, or the National Bank of Poland, or the Banking System
37:54 subtitles: CHAPTER 7. ART-B OR NOT TO BE
37:59 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: Why someone, the State, has to take over the shares of some company that is owned by two individual people? And this is all the absurdity, that today that new prosecutors, who are no longer seventy years old, but are brought up in a new reality, – can not understand. How was that ever possible?
38:17 subtitles: In 1991, there was no institution like today’s Polish Financial Supervision Authority that could deal with this matter.
38:25 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: At the very beginning, to solve quite simple problem of settlements between corporation A and B, two private entities, they set up – as I call them, the “Inquisition Committee”, the “special commitee” to deal with “Art-B crisis”. It consisted of: High-rank representative of the State Protection Office (UOP) General Wiktor Fonfara and Col. Adam Dębiec, Deputy Minister of Finance Stefan Kawalec, Prosecutor Kazimierz Radomski, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Poland Andrzej Topiński.
And I’m asking now: let’s bring this conflict to today’s ground, and let’s explain it to someone on the street: what would have to happen today, that this kind of committee, which hasn’t have any legal legitimacy, no relations with these two corporations, -to be designated with goal not only to influence decisions, but to have total control over these two corporations, with purpose to annihilate them both, against the will of the owners. Because our intention, and the owner of the BHK bank wasn’t to finish off these two companies, which we created with really heavy sweat, a whole bunch of thousands of people Somebody came, and having a strength advantage he imposed management over the wealth, that did not belonged to them. On behalf of the Nation? And that’s the whole problem. This is the genesis. Why did this happen? By what rights? In my life I would not have guessed, that Prime Minister of Poland is able to engage secret services to confiscate the private bank, and to get access into our assets. It was simply on an epoch scale.
40:15 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: I think, that Art-B company probably didn’t have such a large wealth that would be for example, packed in 100 dollar bills in pallets, to be stored inside safe.
37:26 Colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: We haven’t studied at all Art-B business activities as such. However, we watched that Art-B purchased all sorts of goods in the form of real estate, some other things. Equipment, even some helicopters, and so on. We were investigating, where Art-B had the resources for it.
40:56 narrator: And what came out of your investigation?
41:00 Colonel Adam Dębiec, Head of the Investigative Department of the State Protection Office: That Art-B has transferred from the Banking System certain amounts of funds, that should not be transferred, because there was no material reasons for this. That Art-B, for example, obtained such amounts from production or from trade, but only from carrying out operations using checks in the financial system, that is, in the Banking System. As a result of this and no other settlement of guaranteed checks.
41:37 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: I will not cite just in details assembly line factories, and revenue of several hundred million dollars in electronic equipment. Almost the same amount this is powder milk. I will not talk about, that we broke the Animex monopoly in meat trade. These are also very large amounts. Number of oil mills, number of factories, for example poultry factory. Or factories from the industrial and electromechanical sector. Former prosecutor, he is just not seeing that.
41:43 Marek Łopuszański, Prosecutor: Big part of resources, that Art-B owned or used came from the turnover of guaranteed checks.
41:54 subtitles: CHAPTER 8. DIRECTION: ISRAEL. August 8, 1991
42:37 Bogusław Bagsik, President of Art-B: An old Jewish proverb says: “A healthy head is not be put on a sick pillow.” Therefore, we decided not to come back.
42:47 Bozena Gasiorowski, wife of Andrzej Gąsiorowski: There were various decisions: “We are going to Germany” to this hotel, to another hotel. At the end: “We are going to Israel.”
42:53 subtitles: Andrzej Gasiorowski’s passport
43:02 Andrzej Gasiorowski, Vice President Art-B: The whole tragedy was, that there exterminated immediately all network of our companies that were created by us. All goods were taken that we paid for, all money, everything was taken from all companies. They disappeared from the face of the earth within a month, or two.
43:18 subtitles: to be continued ….