: #PanamaPapers: The Ukrainians exploiting offshore financial havens (updated)
Politics20:57 Apr. 4, 2016

#PanamaPapers: The Ukrainians exploiting offshore financial havens (updated)

President Poroshenko is not the only prominent figure facing questions about their secret wealth

The fallout from the world's biggest financial leak continues. Among the vast trove of documents, the names of 20 Ukrainians who hid their wealth in various schemes. That's according to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and other investigative groups worldwide.

Petro Poroshenko is among the most prominent Ukrainian names to appear. However, he's not the only one.

Valeriya Hontareva is another - she's currently the chairwoman of Ukraine's National Bank. But it's what Ms. Hontareva was up to before that's being closely scrutinised.

Journalists from the 'Our Money' program on ZIK TV have made several claims. They say she was in business a high-ranking Russian official - a man named Yuri Soloviov. From those dealings, she was lent tens of million of Ukrainian hryvnias.

Ms. Hontaryeva claims relations broke off after E.U. and U.S. sanctions were imposed against Russia following the invasion of Crimea.

As well as her, Odesa Mayor Hennady Trukhanov has questions to answer. Reporters working on the Slidstvo.info program on Hromadske TV claimed Sunday he was actually a Russian citizen and owns a vast construction company through offshore accounts. A Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) spokesman says an investigation into the claims is underway.

But President Petro Poroshenko is soaking up much of the bad press among the Ukrainian names.

Journalists at Slidstvo.info claim Mr. Poroshenko created three offshore companies to begin restructuring the assets of Roshen, his vast confectionary business. They argue the president didn't mention his new offshore company and so-called 'technical vehicles' in the income declaration for 2014 and 2015, a possible violation of Ukrainian law.

But Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau have already ruled out launching a probe – saying it would be against the constitution. Mr. Poroshenko has responded.

He wrote on Twitter, "I'm not participating in management of my assets, having delegated this responsibility to consulting & law firms."

The question of whether or not anyone acted illegally could take a long time to answer.


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