Corruption in Ukraine: Another crackdown on oligarch Kolomojskyj

Status: 02/01/2023 3:12 p.m

Ukraine is putting pressure on the issue of corruption: investigators have searched the house of oligarch Kolomojskyj and a tax office in Kyiv. Apparently it’s about embezzlement in the millions. The management level of the customs authority was also dismissed.

The fight against corruption in Ukraine continues: State investigators have searched the house of the oligarch Ihor Kolomojskyj. In addition, the office of a tax authority in the capital Kyiv was searched.

According to media reports, Kolomojskyj is accused of embezzling oil products worth the equivalent of 930 million euros. In addition, evasion of customs duties is being investigated.

Arachamia: All Customs administration sacked

The raid was confirmed by David Arachamia, leader of the faction of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s party. According to him, the management level of the customs authority has been dismissed. Arachamia said that high-ranking representatives of the Ministry of Defense had also received visits from investigators.

“The country will change during the war,” Arachamia wrote on Telegram. “If you’re not ready for change, the state will stop by and help you change.”

investigations since last year

Kolomojskyj has been under investigation since last year. In the course of this, house searches were also carried out on the 59-year-old. In November, Kolomoiskyi’s stakes in parastatal oil and gas companies were confiscated because of the war with Russia. Pictures from the raid apparently showed the billionaire in his home next to an SBU officer.

Kolomojskyj is one of the richest men in Ukraine. He owns a number of companies, including one of the country’s most influential television networks.

US imposed sanctions for corruption

In 2019 he supported Zelenskyy’s election campaign in the presidential election. He has recently distanced himself more and more from Kolomojskyj and, according to reports, also revoked his Ukrainian citizenship. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Kolomojskyj initially made no statements.

The United States had sanctioned the oligarch in 2021 for “involvement in corruption on a significant scale”. US authorities accused him and a business partner of laundering stolen money across the United States. At the time, Kolomojskyj had denied any wrongdoing.

Police officers were looking for contracts with Airbus

In addition to Kolomoyskyi’s home, a raid was also carried out on former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. It was apparently about the helicopter crash in mid-January in which Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj died. “You looked at the contracts with Airbus from six years ago,” Monastyrskyj’s predecessor told the Internet newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda. According to Avakov, the investigators behaved correctly.

The helicopter that crashed Monastyrskyj and 16 other people came from the French manufacturer Airbus. The contracts for the purchase had been concluded under Avakov. The 59-year-old headed the ministry from 2014 to 2021.

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