Court seizes property of UMH group
Pechersky District Court of Kyiv has seized securities, corporate, intellectual property rights, real estate and equipment of the Ukrainian Media Holding (UMH group), the court's decision dated December 15, published in the Single Register of Judgments, reads.
According to the court decision, the arrest of property and rights of UMH group was imposed as part of the investigation of criminal proceedings on the facts of tax evasion, legalization of proceeds from crime, organization of fictitious entrepreneurship, which caused major material damage, as well as investigating a number of other crimes.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office, more than 400 resident enterprises of Ukraine were used to ensure criminal activity, most of which had signs of fictitiousness, business entities in offshore zones abroad (Cyprus, Panama, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, Belize), open bank accounts (mainly in Latvia).
"Pretrial investigation in criminal proceedings established that these transactions related to the acquisition of a package of shares of a number of media, corporate rights to them, and repayment of a loan of $160 million provided by Ukreximbank for Vetek Media Invest under a loan agreement dated October 28, 2013, have signs of legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime," the court said.
The text of the document also indicated the risk of the loss of these assets, as well as the fact that, if proven to be of illicit origin, they are subject to special confiscation procedures.
The court granted the request of investigators and prosecutors of the Prosecutor General's Office, seizing the property of the UMH group.
As reported, the final beneficiary of the UMH group is a businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, who fled to Russia.
Businessman Kurchenko's VETEK and UMH groups closed the transaction of purchase and sale of media holding ahead of schedule on November 6, 2013. The General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine put Kurchenko on the wanted list in March 2014.
UMH group includes about 50 media brands, including printed press and radio stations, in particular: Korrespondent, Forbes Ukraine, Vogue, Telenedelia (TV week), Komsomolskaya Pravda, Arguments and Facts in Ukraine, i.ua, bigmir.net, football.ua, Retro FM, Nashe radio (Our radio), Europa Plus, Autoradio and others.