$49 million worth of iron ore owned by Russian oligarch seized in Ukraine

7 February, 05:33 PM
The ore was planned to be illegally transported by sea vessels to the territory of Russia (Photo:esbu.gov.ua)

The ore was planned to be illegally transported by sea vessels to the territory of Russia (Photo:esbu.gov.ua)

The Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine has handed over almost 170,000 tons of iron ore with an estimated value of UAH 1.8 billion ($49 million) to the Agency for Investigating and Managing Assets, the bureau's press service reported on Feb. 7. 

The investigation established the location of clandestine Russian warehouses in several seaports in Odesa Oblast. They stored strategic raw materials that were planned to be illegally transported by sea to Russia.

These minerals are indirectly owned by sanctioned oligarch Alisher Usmanov close to Vladimir Putin through a non-resident company, news outlet Economic Pravda reported.

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Earlier, ESBU staff exposed the company in question for tax evasion on a particularly large scale. During 2021-2022, it declared the movement of iron ore through the territory of Ukraine to Asian countries in the customs regime of "transit".

To evade taxes, duties, and other mandatory payments that are paid when importing goods into Ukraine, the company's employees used the mechanism of so-called "interrupted transit". Fictitious documents were drawn up for the export of ore from Ukraine. Thus, as a result of value-added tax evasion, the budget of Ukraine suffered losses of over UAH 118 million ($3.2 million).

Currently, the total value of the assets of Russian and Belarusian citizens seized by the ESBU detectives exceeds UAH 41 billion ($1.1 billion).

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