15:44 09.10.2019

Zhevaho declared wanted in Ukraine, placing on intl wanted list being prepared – SBI director

3 min read
Zhevaho declared wanted in Ukraine, placing on intl wanted list being prepared – SBI director

Businessman and former MP Kostiantyn Zhevaho suspected of embezzling funds of bank Finance and Credit has been declared wanted in Ukraine, and placing him on the international wanted list is being prepared, Director of the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) Roman Truba has said.

"Several days passed when Zhevaho was summoned to hand out a notice of suspicion. Zhevaho did not appear, so he was notified of suspicion in absentia," he said at a briefing on Wednesday.

According to Truba, now, according to the procedure, it is necessary to obtain permission from the court for the possible detention of Zhevaho. In addition, the suspect must be declared wanted.

"So, this process has begun and continues. We have filed a lawsuit. He [Zhevaho] is currently wanted. Measures are being taken to put him on the international wanted list in the future," he said.

As reported, the SBI notified former MP Kostiantyn Zhevaho of suspicion of involvement in siphoning UAH 2.5 billion from Bank Finance and Credit.

Olha Varchenko, the SBI's first deputy director, wrote on Facebook that it was established during a pretrial investigation that in 2007-2014, an offshore company opened credit lines in foreign banks, subsequently an agreement on over $113 million collateral was signed between Finance and Credit and foreign banks, the Ukrainian bank acted as a guarantor. In 2015, the foreign banks recovered that $113 million from Bank Finance and Credit's accounts for failure by an offshore company to fulfill obligations under loan agreements. The foreign banks wrote off the deposit right after Bank Finance and Credit was declared insolvent.

Also, Varchenko said that the investigation established that the funds received on the bank's guarantee were used in favor of foreign companies that belong to Zhevaho.

According to her, Zhevaho was notified in absentia of suspicion under Part 3 of Article 27, Part 5 of Article 191 (organizing embezzlement of other individual's or entity's property by prior agreement), Part 3 of Article 209 (legalization of proceeds of crime in especially large amounts) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

She also said that before notifying Zhevaho that he was a suspect, the SBI, together with other law enforcement agencies had done extensive work to analyze financial documents. As a result, materials were collected that gave reason to believe that the parliamentarian of the 3rd-8th convocations, who is the beneficial owner of the bank, was involved in organizing a criminal scheme to embezzle the funds of his own bank.

The Board of Directors of Ferrexpo mining company, the CEO and majority shareholder of which is Zhevaho, is aware of allegations made on social media by the first deputy director of the SBI that Zhevaho is served with a notice of suspicion regarding an investigation in Ukraine into the embezzlement of funds of Bank Finance and Credit.

"Mr Zhevaho strongly denies any allegations of wrongdoing. Mr Zhevaho has informed the Board of Ferrexpo that he has not received a notice of suspicion in accordance with Ukrainian law," Ferrexpo said on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on Monday.

According to the statement, the public dissemination of such untrue information in the media violates his rights and legitimate interests as a citizen of Ukraine, and causes direct reputational and economic damage to the businesses where Zhevaho is a shareholder. This undermines the international authority and economy of the country of Ukraine and jeopardizes the future implementation of major investment projects in Ukraine.

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