Tax office raids Kyivstar's office, seizes documents in tax evasion case – fiscal service

 Officers of tax police of the Office of Large Taxpayers of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine raided offices of Kyivstar mobile communications operator as part of an investigation into a criminal case related to tax evasion in the amount of around UAH 2.4 billion, Spokesperson of the State Fiscal Service Natalia Nepriakhina has said.

Late on Thursday Nepriakhina wrote on her Facebook page that the tax police raided the Kyivstar's offices seeking to reveal and seize documents important for the investigators.

She said the office was raided in pursuant to the order of the investigative judge issued on January 3, 2018 after an investigator filed a petition to the judge. The petition was approved by a prosecutor of Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office (PGO).

"The raid was recorded using video cameras in line with the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code," she said.

Earlier, on January 4, 2017, Kyivstar President Peter Chernyshov said that representatives of the tax police raided the office of the operator.

"About 30 tax policemen have come to our main office today. They got through the security officers by simply moving aside our turnstile and presented the ruling of Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky District Court permitting to search our office. What are they looking for with such a large number of people? Three contracts, signed long ago by the company's former management that have already terminated, and some additional documents to them," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Chernyshov said a trial between Kyivstar and the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine has been lasting for almost two years. The service believes that Kyivstar underpaid a record amount of almost UAH 1.5 billion to the budget of Ukraine.

"We believe that this case was fabricated, since the company always regularly and in full transfers all taxes and fees to the budget of the country. No wonder that we are regularly called taxpayer number one in the communications industry and one of the largest taxpayers in the country. Kyivstar for the 20 years of work had paid UAH 52 billion of taxes and fees to the budget," the president of Kyivstar said.

He also recalled that the company has never refused providing documents and presented a pile of evidence to court.

"However, it looks like the court believes that this is not enough and on December 26, 2017 not informing us gave a permit to inspectors to raid [the office] and seize documents," Chernyshov said.

He also said that Kyivstar continues operating as usual.

Kyivstar is the largest Ukrainian mobile communication operator, serving about 26.4 million subscribers as of the end of the third quarter of 2017.