Just How Much Czech Clout Can Kolomoisky Buy?
Igor Kolomoisky transfers 750 mil. CZK to new Czech company through offshores — and a freight train of diesel fuel, to boot. Article highlights:
- A freight train of diesel fuel and 750 million Czech crowns sent to a hastily created company in the Czech Republic led police to the powerful Ukrainian oligarch
- Kolomoisky is likely planning big business in diesel fuel
- His investments are guarded by a private army
Translator's commentary: For such a major actor in the Ukraine debacle, war criminal Igor Kolomoisky’s white glove treatment by the media, if he gets any coverage at all, is quite impressive. After all, how does one finance and command fanatic, right-wing marauders, while managing to hold such posts as the President of the "European Council of Jewish Communities", and not get any traction in the global mainstream press? Really? In the Ukrainian press, where he has substantial control over narrative, it's understandable — but globally? Even his own carefully-tailored Wikipedia page goes unchallenged as La-di-da fact of day.
The daily whitewash of this Ukrainian resource-siphoning death philanthropist doesn't miss a beat. Banker... Politician... Media Mogul... Commander in Chief...He is labeled everything but the criminal he is. And now Kolomoisky is busy divesting (a percentage point) of his portfolio to the Czech Republic. Or, at least that is what the editors at Hospodářské Noviny have burped up. Noteworthy is the "Financial Analyst unit", which recently took heroic, decisive action to save two horses from Ramzan Kadyrov. Why? For being on friendly terms with the president of the wrong country.
This article originally appeared at Hospodářské Noviny (Economic News). Translated for RI by Anthony Grulich
Ukrainian Oligarch has Three-quarters of a Billion in the Czech Republic to do Business with Diesel Fuel
A freight train loaded with diesel fuel recently arrived at the train station in Pardubice. Its owner and its shipment to the Czech Republic made local authorities and the secret services very nervous. The trail across a network of foreign companies, lead to Igor Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian oligarch, whose private army assisted the government in battles against the separatists.
It all indicates that Kolomoisky is planning big business with petroleum products, for example to use the prepared 750 million crowns for the purchase of additional diesel fuel, which he could sell on the domestic market.
It is through the 750 million, according to information verified by EN, that Czech authorities ran into (uncovered TR) Kolomoisky’s activities. The newly registered company, represented publicly by a lawyer, had the mentioned three-quarters of a billion suddenly arrive on their account.
The payment arrived as a single (transaction TR) credited to the account of the Czech company. Ministry of Finance analysts found out that the trail leads to the Ukrainian oil and financial magnate Igor Kolomoisky.
Enough Funds for 35 Trains Loaded with Diesel Fuel
Because it was a one-off payment and a very unusual amount in favor of a new company at that, the banks reported it to the Financial Analytical Unit of the Ministry of Finance, which watches over money laundering. "The Financial Analytical Unit is bound by confidentiality and therefore cannot make any comments", stated Ministry of Finance spokeswoman Teresa Peprníková.
The three-quarters of a billion came from accounts registered in Great Britain but Financial Analysts managed to trace that they were transferred there through various offshore companies, which converge with Kolomoisky. The analysts however, did not find evidence the money had been laundered.
Due to the large size of the transaction in question, the Czech company, which received the money, has attracted the interest of customs officials and the Security Information Service (BIS) - in order to timely detect possible tax fraud. Even in the context of business with petroleum products, which traditionally turns over large amounts of money, this case represents a significant transaction. For 750 million one can buy approximately 35 freight trains of fuel.
The Commander in Chief of His Own Army
Oil, television, banks...
Igor Kolomoisky is the founder of Ukrainian’s largest bank, a petroleum products trader and owner of the most watched television channel in Ukraine at the same time. Until last week he was also the Governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region, he was removed by President Petro Poroshenko however, the after a conflict involving the leadership of the semi-public oil company.
For Europe from the Beginning
Since the demonstrations on the Kiev’s Maidan square, Kolomoisky has stood on the side of the pro-European movements. In the Donbas he also created the volunteer battalions Dnespr and Dnepr, which fought against the separatists. President Poroshenko declared that it is now the end of this: in the future the Ukraine should only have one official national army.
For Russians an Enemy of the Country
In Russia, Kolomoisky is an evident enemy of the country. Parliamentarians want to investigate if he has stakes hidden in certain large companies and eventually confiscate them. They claim that he is "an open enemy of our country, of everything Russian, of friendship (among TR) peoples".
20 Thousand Soldiers and Heavy Equipment
Kolomoisky, inter alia, the founder of the largest Ukrainian bank Privat Bank, whose assets are estimated at three billion USD, is considered one of the most influential figures in politics and the economy in the Ukraine. Or more precisely: he was considered as such up until the dispute last week, when President Petro Poroshenko removed him from the post of Dnepropetrovsk region governor.
They got into a dispute because of Kolomoisky’s private army and because of business dealings. The Kiev government pushed through a reform of the semi-public oil company UkrTransNafta, in which Kolomoisky owns a minority share. The director of the company was suspected of siphoning money off to companies associated with Kolomoisky and had to leave the company’s management. Which was difficult to bear for the billionaire – he even sent his militia to the seat of the company.
President Poroshenko then declared that he would curtail the oligarch’s influence. "The defense of our territory will be subordinated to the legitimate government, not one Governor in the country will have a private army at their disposal. Period," said the President. He was alluding to Kolomoisky’s military strength, unthinkable in regular countries. Kolomoisky is maintaining professional units, which have even better armament than the official Ukrainian army according to some observers. He owns heavy equipment as well, such as armored personnel carriers.
Even though Kolomoisky stood behind President Poroshenko from the beginning of the conflict with Russia and the separatists, critics say that he was building up his army mainly to maintain his own influence in the largest energy companies.