Ukraine’s security services charge exiled Ukrainian oligarch Firtash with crime

15 May, 02:10 PM
Dmytro Firtash (Photo:Getty Images)

Dmytro Firtash (Photo:Getty Images)

Ukraine’s SBU security service and the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine (ESBU) have charged exiled Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash with committing a crime, NV sources in law enforcement agencies said on May 15.

The NV sources said the SBU and the ESBU are serving Firtash himself and eight top managers of his companies with charge papers today.

In addition, searches have been taking place at the properties of top managers of the oligarch’s companies (the Regional Gas Company (RGC), Ye Energy) and regional gas companies since early morning.

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The law enforcement officers have exposed a scheme according to which Firtash-controlled structures bought fuel from his company, but actually received 30% of the volumes.

The artificial deficit was covered using state gas. According to NV sources, the scheme caused losses to the country’s budget amounting to UAH 18 billion ($492.2 million) over seven years.

Earlier RCG dismissed its CEO Oleh Nykonorov, who reported about the scheme on his Facebook page on Feb. 18.

RGC is owned by two offshore companies. Formally, RGC does not have a beneficial owner, but it has been linked to Firtash, one of Ukraine’s richest businessmen.

RGC is a technology company specializing in operational, production, engineering and R&D solutions for gas distribution. The enterprise oversees 20 gas distribution network operators (formerly regional gas companies) under the RGC brand.

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