Assets of Russian oligarch Fuks and former MP Kotvitsky seized in Ukraine: what is known

Ksenia KapustinskayaLife
Fuks and Kotvitsky organised a scheme to sell Ukrainian natural resources
Fuks and Kotvitsky organised a scheme to sell Ukrainian natural resources

Ukraine has arrested the corporate rights of three companies that illegally appropriated the subsoil of one of the largest oil and gas fields, Sakhalin. The companies in question are those of Russian oligarch Pavel Fuks and former MP Ihor Kotvitsky.

This is evidenced by the report of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). It states that the rights of the following LLCs were seized: "Sakhalinskoye, Sirius-1, and East Europe Petroleum. The assets of these companies were transferred to the management of the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA).

The names of the defendants have not been officially disclosed. However, according to Youcontrol:

A criminal case has been opened against Kotvitsky. The former Rada deputy is suspected of making money from illegal gas production from the Sakhalin field. "He, by prior conspiracy with officials of the Private Joint Stock Company "National Joint Stock Company "Subsoil of Ukraine", the State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources, LLC "Sakhalinskoye" and commercial structures in the period 2003-2022, actually appropriated state mineral resources," the DBR said in a statement.

The scheme consisted of issuing mining permits in violation of procedures. In particular, the raw materials were cheaper on paper than in reality, and the documents underestimated the actual production volumes. The organisers of the scheme made a profit by selling "extra" raw materials that were not included in the reporting. "More than UAH 1 billion was spent from the state budget on the development of this field. According to geological exploration, gas deposits at this site amount to at least 15 billion cubic metres," DBR added.

Fuks has been under NSDC sanctions since the summer of 2021. The restrictions were imposed due to the illegal obtaining of a gas production licence for Golden Derrick. The state-owned Subsoil of Ukraine company actually donated a stake in the gas business to Fuks. As a result, Ukraine lost hundreds of billions of hryvnias.

Earlier, on February 10, 2023, security forces had already come with search warrants for the homes and offices of Kotvitsky and Fuks. Then, during the searches, they found documentation confirming the illegal operations of the former MP and oligarch's companies. They also seized about USD 300,000, EUR 250,000 and UAH 1.5 million in cash.

Searches of Kotvitsky and Fuks

What we know about Fuks:

Pavel Fuks is a Russian-Ukrainian businessman who is also referred to in the media as "Yanukovych's heir". After Yanukovych and his entourage fled, Fuks acquired the gas business of the former head of state's entourage and other important assets.

- The oligarch is suspected of covering up money laundering schemes by the former president of Ukraine and of trying to move Yanukovych's money out of the country.

- Fuks appears in the documents of FinCEN, one of the most secretive financial crime units of the US Treasury Department. It is about the transfer of dirty dollars around the world and the assistance of large banks.

- The oligarch is on the international wanted list for embezzling funds from shareholders in a construction project in Moscow and a bank loan.

- He is suspected of having links to a criminal mastermind who is one of the organisers of the murder of former State Duma deputy Denis Voronenkov.

As OBOZREVATEL previously reported, Fuks also cynically implemented a passport scam. The publication obtained documents that became the first public proof of the oligarch's dual citizenship. He subsequently renounced his Russian citizenship.

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