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State seizes $206 million in assets from Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash over gas theft scheme

by Martin Fornusek August 15, 2023 3:29 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash during a Bloomberg Television interview inside the Group DF offices in Vienna, Austria, on March 14, 2016. (Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine announced on Aug. 15 that it had seized Hr 7.6 billion ($208 million) worth of assets from Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash as three more managers of companies under his Regional Gas Company have been charged with stealing gas from the state.

According to the report, charges were pressed against the chairman of the board of AT Kryvorizhgas for causing damages of $5.5 million, the chairman of the board of AT Volyngas over $3.5 million, and the chairman of the board of AT Chernihivgas over $6 million.

The Bureau received evidence of the three suspects stealing gas from the state transmission system in a scheme orchestrated by Firtash, the de facto head of the Regional Gas Company that runs the three named companies.

To compensate for the damages, the state confiscated the property of the three suspects worth $6.7 million and Firtash's assets worth $206 million.

So far, 15 people, including the Regional Gas Company's owner, have been charged in relation to the case, and heads of six regional gas companies are already in custody. Based on the investigation, the scheme caused the loss of state funds of more than $114 million in 2021.

Firtash, formerly a close associate of pro-Russian ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, accumulated much of his wealth by buying Russian gas and selling it in his home country.

U.S. prosecutors charged Firtash with racketeering and bribery in 2014 and he was briefly arrested in Austria before posting bail. The Ukrainian tycoon has so far avoided extradition from Austria's capital, where he resides.

Media: Belarus gave wanted Ukrainian oligarch diplomatic post to block extradition to US
Belarus assigned the Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash with a diplomatic post in Vienna to avoid his extradition to the U.S., Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on June 27. U.S. prosecutors charged Firtash with racketeering and bribery in 2014 and he was briefly arrested in Austria before posting bail.…
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