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 Latvian budget boosted with €50M embezzled by former Ukrainian officials, - Delfi

Latvia continues a probe into the origin of money that could be stolen from Ukraine's state budget and legalized by Latvian banks. However, the Prosecutor General's Office of Latvia says Ukraine has not provided any materials on the funds embezzled by former government officials.

As noted by LSM citing De facto, 50 million euros have already been recognized as illegally acquired and confiscated in favor of the Latvian State Treasury, Censor.NET reports referring to delfi.lv.

After the Yanukovych's regime fell in Ukraine, one of the first persons to have fallen under the Western sanctions in 2014 was oligarch Serhii Kurchenko. He is a subject of criminal proceedings instituted on the fact of public funds embezzlement and their illegal transfer outside Ukraine. Under the EU laws, the funds of Kurchenko's firm on bank accounts in Latvia have also been frozen.

Read more: Poroshenko urges MPs to adopt bill on special confiscation to fund defense order

In autumn 2014, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Vitalii Yarema announced that former Deputy Prime Minister Serhii Arbuzov's $49.3 million had been arrested on Latvian bank accounts. Moreover, $32 million and 72 million Swiss francs belonging to businessman and politician Yurii Ivaniushchenko "got stuck" in Latvia's banks as well.

De facto notes that Latvia proceeds with the probe into the stolen Ukrainian funds. However, neither Arbuzov nor Kurchenko nor Ivaniushchenko appears among the suspects. The criminal proceedings, instituted by the Latvian State Police, list no suspects at all.

Latvia's law enforcement agencies have received no information from their Ukrainian colleagues. This was confirmed by Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers< who visited Ukraine last year and met with Interior Ministry officials.

"Unfortunately, Ukraine has provided no information that this money has been stolen from the state and should be returned," he said.

Read more: Confiscation of attached Yanukovych's funds hardly probable this year, Finance Minister Danyliuk says

Latvian laws allow recognizing dubious funds as illegally obtained and confiscating them even before the completion of investigation. The State Police have used this norm. While searching for the owners of dirty Ukrainian money in Latvian banks, the Riga Zemgale District Court has already ruled to confiscate the dubious funds three times. Hence, 50 million euros, allegedly acquired by criminal means, has been transferred to the Latvian budget.

Last summer, the funds were confiscated from ABLV Bank and RIB (Reģionālā Investīciju Banka). The lion's share was seized from PrivatBank. According to De facto sources, some $49 million is in question. This amount is equal to that stolen by Arbuzov.

Read more: 7th kilometer market near Odesa transfers $800,000 monthly for Yanukovych and Donbas, - Saakashvili

The court verdicts can not be made public due to the probe secrecy.
 
 
 
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