Ukraine launches bank loan terrorist financing investigation after RFE / RL report


Ukrainian prosecutors open terrorist financing investigation after it emerged that the country’s state-owned export-import bank had loaned tens of millions of dollars to companies owned by a businessman with interest in parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

The Attorney General’s Office told the Ukrainian service of RFE / RL on Oct. 27 that he opened the investigation last week after lawmakers called for an investigation following an investigative report released earlier this month.

According to the findings of Schemes (Skhemy), an information survey project carried out by the Ukrainian service of RFE / RL in cooperation with UA: Pershy television, Ukreksimbank loaned $ 60 million to companies owned by Serhiy Bryukhovetskiy.

Bryukhovetskiy also paid millions of Ukrainian hryvnya in taxes to the separatists and pledged the loan of a disputed Kiev shopping center as collateral.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and separatists has left more than 13,200 dead since April 2014.

The investigation into the schemes raised questions about why Ukraine’s third-largest bank in terms of assets was allowed to finance an entity doing business with the separatists, possibly in violation of Ukrainian law.

Ukrainian authorities have banned Ukrainian companies from doing business with companies in separatist-controlled areas under a law banning “terrorist financing”. The blockade, however, is known to be porous, with some exchanges circumventing the ban.


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