15:29 21.01.2015

Interpol puts Mriya agroholding ex-director and co-owner Mykola Huta on wanted list

3 min read
Interpol puts Mriya agroholding ex-director and co-owner Mykola Huta on wanted list

On the request of Ukrainian authorities, Interpol has put the former director and co-owner of Mriya agroholding Mykola Huta on its international wanted list.

Huta is suspected of serious fraud that might have been committed by an organized group, according to Interpol’s website.

"Today, finally, citizen [Mykola] Huta, who fraudulently took possession of eight foreign investment funds worth more than $100 million, has been put on the international wanted list by Interpol," MP and advisor to Interior Minister Anton Heraschenko said at the request of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

He stated that swindlers who deceive and steal from those who want to invest in the Ukrainian economy will be found and brought to justice "wherever they are."

Heraschenko noted that based on information from the investigation, Mriya agroholding and its Director General Huta had financial obligations worth $1.3 billion to Ukrainian and foreign creditors, and subsequently said that the obligations couldn't be paid out.

The MP added that on January 14, 2015 Huta was put on Ukraine's wanted list. On January 15, Pechersky district court in Kyiv issued a warrant for his arrest. On January 17, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry asked that Huta be placed on Interpol's international wanted list.

"Currently, the investigative agencies have sent the request to court on the urgent arrest of the property of companies that were with the agroholding, and their finished products, to avoid selling them 'on the black [market]' and to have a reserve to compensate at least a part of losses to creditors," Heraschenko added.

According to him, the investigation into others employees of the agroholding and their involvement in the fraud is ongoing.

As reported earlier, Huta is suspected of committing a crime under Part 4 of Article 190 of the Criminal Code (fraud committed in a large scale or by an organized group). The article stipulates imprisonment for a term of 5 to 12 years and the confiscation of property.

Mriya was founded in 1992 by Ivan and Klavdiya Huta. It grows wheat, barley, rapeseeds, sugar beet, buckwheat, and potatoes.

In August, 2014, Mriya reported arrears worth $9 million of interest earnings and nearly $120 million of debt under company's obligations. The total amount of Mriya's debt equaled $1.3 billion when the company's bankruptcy was announced.

Mriya's creditors asked Ukrainian authorities to investigate company's activity and the Huta family controlling it, and to prevent the potential transfer of agroholding's assets, property and money.

The parties never agreed on the restructuration of Mriya's debt. On January 14, creditor committees said that the court had decided to transfer corporate control over Mriya to a temporary liquidator from British Virgin Islands. Neither of the Hutas came to the meeting with committee advisors on January 12 in Kyiv to discuss the proper transfer of control over the company.

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