SBU explains reasons for raids on businesses of pro-Russian MP Stolar

1 February, 07:26 PM
Vadym Stolar (Photo:Opposition Platform Party)

Vadym Stolar (Photo:Opposition Platform Party)

Ukraine’s SBU security service said on Feb. 1 it is investigating the involvement of construction firm belonging to Vadym Stolar, an MP from a banned pro-Russian party, in money laundering for treason suspect Viktor Medvedchuk and other sanctioned individuals.

The agency confirmed that they had searched representatives of Kyiv construction companies controlled by Stolar (although the name of the MPis not specified in the message).

According to the investigation, the companies were involved in money laundering schemes for Medvedchuk and his former colleague from the banned pro-Russian party Opposition Platform, Taras Kozak – another treason suspect.

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The schemes also operated in the interests of "other citizens of Russia and Belarus, who were subject to sanctions imposed by the National Security and Defense Council, the European Union, and the United States,” the SBU said.

The SBU stated that it is now eliminating all illegal schemes and channels of legalization of financial assets used by the perpetrators.

In particular, the scheme involved buying out the corporate rights of Ukrainian developers by offshore companies and Russian banks and directing the money from the sale of real estate to finance "actions that harm state security."

"In order to obtain additional evidence of criminal activity, law enforcement officers conducted searches at the residences of officials and the offices of construction companies," the SBU statement said.

Investigative actions are being carried out under Article 437 (planning, preparation, unleashing, and waging an aggressive war) and Article 110-2 (financing actions committed with the aim of forcible change or overthrow of the constitutional order or seizure of state power, change of the boundaries of the territory or state border of Ukraine) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Stolar was elected to the Kyiv Oblast Council on the list of the Nasha Ukraina party back in 2006. A year later, he became an MP from the pro-Russian Party of Regions. In the 2019 general election, Stolar ran with the Opposition Platform as the 11th candidate on their list.

According to election watchdog Chesno, he is a real estate developer and often dubbed the "éminence grise" of Kyiv. Previously, reacting to claims about Stolar’s influence on the capital’s building scene, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko claimed that Stolar could not influence decisions in the capital because he was not an official of the Kyiv City Administration or a member of the Kyiv City Council.

NV’s sister outlet Ukrainska Pravda discovered that some legislators from the banned Opposition Platform, including Stolar, traveled to the United Arab Emirates at the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

On Feb. 1, searches were also conducted at the offices of former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, former PrivatBank owner Ihor Kolomoisky, and representatives of the State Tax Service, including its Kyiv office.

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