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Oligarch Kolomoisky charged with money laundering, fraud

by Igor Kossov September 2, 2023 10:02 AM 2 min read
Ukraine's Security Service published a photo of the moment when oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky was officially handed criminal charges. (Ukraine's Security Service)
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Ihor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's most flamboyant and infamous oligarchs, was officially handed criminal charges in relation to alleged financial manipulation with his oil and gas holdings.

Soon, Ukraine's Security Service published pictures 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 alleged of laundering over Hr 500 million ($13.5 million) in 2019-2020.

Kolomoisky last visited the National Anti-Corruption Bureau offices in October, after a search at his vacation home at the Bukovel ski resort. His Dnipro home was searched in February.  

The oligarch controlled Ukrtatnafta, Ukraine's largest refining company, until it was seized by the government in November, citing it a critical national resource during martial law.

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.

Kolomoisky has been sued in U.K., U.S., Israel and Ukraine.

Investigators search Kolomoisky, Avakov, incumbent top officials in unprecedented raid
Law enforcement agencies on Feb. 1 searched the houses of several incumbent and former top officials and an oligarch in what appears to be the largest anti-corruption raid since the beginning of Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Among others, law enforcers raided powerful oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky…
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