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Kolomoisky arrives at Kyiv court for hearing in fraud case

by Asami Terajima and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 2, 2023 8:12 PM 1 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

One of Ukraine's most infamous oligarchs, Ihor Kolomoisky, arrived at the Shevchenkivskyi district court in Kyiv on Sept. 2 after being charged with fraud and money laundering.

The court is deciding whether to arrest Kolomoisky and whether to set bail. The hearing is closed to the public due to the defendant's request.

Earlier on Sept. 2, Ukraine's Security Service published photos showing law enforcers confronting Kolomoisky at his home and conducting a search of the premises. Kolomoisky was charged during the search with fraud and money laundering.

The Security Service said in its official statement that Kolomoisky is suspected of laundering over Hr 500 million ($13.5 million) in 2013-2020.

The raid comes nearly a year after Kolomoisky last visited the National Anti-Corruption Bureau in October 2022, after a search at his vacation home at the Bukovel ski resort. His Dnipro home was searched in February 2023.

The oligarch controlled Ukrtatnafta, Ukraine's largest refining company, until it was seized by the government in November as a strategic asset in wartime.

The company reportedly refused to pay Hr 3.2 billion ($90 million) in taxes last year.    

Kolomoisky also owned over 40% of Ukrnafta, an oil and gas extractor, through multiple smaller companies in his orbit. The Ukrainian state seized this company as well last year.

In 2016, the government also nationalized PrivatBank, the country's largest bank. When Kolomoisky co-owned it, the bank's fraudulent activities left a $5.5 billion hole in its balance sheet.

The combative oligarch's business dealings through these companies careened from scandal to scandal over the previous decade.

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