Kaskiv, Liovochkin probed as part of Ostchem case – Avakov
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that new information has been unearthed during the investigation into the activities of Ostchem company which implicates Opposition Bloc MP Serhiy Liovochkin, who headed the administration of then president Viktor Yanukovych, and former head of the State Agency of Investment National Project Management Vladyslav Kaskiv.
"A number of other big names and high-profile crimes have resurfaced in this situation... These include Kaskiv, there are also questions to Liovochkin and several other MPs," Avakov told journalists in Kyiv on Wednesday while speaking about the Ostchem investigation.
The Interior Ministry is scrutinizing schemes involving Ostchem managers, Avakov said. "Activities of managers of this company have resulted in Ukraine's falling short of - or, to be more precise, suffering losses amounting to [UAH] 5.7 billion," he said.
The investigation is being handled by the Interior Ministry's main investigations department, Avakov said, adding that 500 million cubic meters of gas belonging to Ostchem has been frozen within the framework of the probe.
"This is the first step to secure the state's interests, and it is not the last one: a number of other investigative actions are planned to this end," he said.
"I believe this will be useful both for the Ukrainian justice system and for the American justice system, which has questions for Mr. Firtash," Avakov said.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said on April 30 that the Interior Ministry had opened a criminal proceeding into presumed collusion between Naftogaz and Ostchem causing the state damage amounting to 5.7 billion hryvni.
The Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry asked a court to freeze 500 million cubic meters of gas belonging to Ostchem, he said.
The Interior Ministry's main investigations department has opened the proceeding under Ukrainian Criminal Code Article 191, Part 5 (misappropriation, embezzlement, or acquisition of property through abuse of office on a massive scale or by an organized group).
Kyiv's Pechersky District Court granted the investigations department's request and ordered on April 30 that 500 million cubic meters of gas belonging to Ostchem companies be frozen.