10:56 17.05.2023

Ukraine makes progress in returning over $113 mln frozen on Zhevaho's accounts from Switzerland – SBI

3 min read
Ukraine makes progress in returning over $113 mln frozen on Zhevaho's accounts from Switzerland – SBI

The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), together with the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA), are working on the return from the Swiss Confederation of more than $113 million frozen on the accounts of companies whose ultimate beneficial owner is former MP, the shareholder of JSC Bank Finance & Credit Kostiantyn Zhevaho, the SBI has reported.

According to the report of the Bureau on its Telegram channel on Wednesday, the funds were seized in line with the relevant ruling of the investigating judge of the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv dated October 26, 2022, at the request of the SBI.

"The competent authorities of the Swiss Confederation have informed the SBI that the amount of assets available in the frozen accounts exceeds $113 million. Currently, the SBI is taking steps to apply the mechanism for transferring seized funds to ARMA with the assistance of the Swiss side," the SBI said.

The Bureau recalled that as part of the investigation of the criminal proceedings, Zhevaho was notified of suspicion of committing criminal offenses under Part 3 of Article 27, Part 5 of Article 191, Part 3 of Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, and suspicions were also reported to a number of top managers of the bank. "They organized a mechanism for wasting $113 million of the financial institution, which caused damage to the interests of the state and the bank's depositors," the SBI said.

To date, the property of the suspected oligarch, and legal entities associated with him, has been seized. In particular, the shares of his enterprises worth hundreds of millions of hryvnias, corporate rights of companies, and 26 real estate objects were seized. The property of other legal entities associated with the former deputy was also seized. Among other things, it is about 14 property complexes, 21 parts of property complexes, 30 nonresidential premises, 10 apartments, a helicopter, and a yacht.

In October 2020, the seized assets of over UAH 300 million were transferred to ARMA. These are assets in the form of corporate rights, funds, and 26 real estate objects – health centers, hotels, residential and commercial premises located in the central parts of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, and Kryvy Rih, with a total area of more than 22,000 square meters.

"The State Bureau of Investigations is actively cooperating with the justice, gendarmerie, and police authorities of the French Republic. As a result of this cooperation, at the request of the State Bureau of Investigations, on December 27, 2022, Zhevaho was detained in one of the hotels in Courchevel," the Bureau said.

On March 30, 2023, the investigative chamber of the Chambéry Court of Appeal issued a court decision, which refused to satisfy the request for the extradition of the fugitive MP. The court motivated its decision by saying that "the requesting state, at war in an uncertain situation, is not in a position to have a court guaranteeing fundamental freedoms."

The Prosecutor of the French Republic plans to file an appeal against this decision, while the term of the previously chosen custody status -house arrest - for Zhevaho was extended.

Procedural guidance is exercised by the Prosecutor General's Office.

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