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Offshores of Zelensky and his entourage: What have we learned from Pandora Papers?

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Secret deals, hidden offshore property of hundreds of world leaders, politicians and billionaires. All of this is part of a new offshore dossier that has been collected by journalists from around the world. This was found thanks to one of the largest document leaks in history.
23:13, 4 October 2021

www.dw.com

The new dossier also includes representatives of Ukraine. In particular, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and his entourage.

Let's first clarify what Pandrora Papers are all about.

What are Pandora Papers and who worked on these documents?

This is what the participants in the investigation from Ukraine, representing the Slidstvo.info project, write:

"The Pandora Papers is the largest collaboration of investigative journalists ever, uncovering the secrets of 35 current and former world leaders, over 330 officials in 90 countries, artists and assassins.

More than 600 journalists from 117 countries of the world examined 11.9 million confidential files during the year - this is the largest leak of confidential documents in history. "

Journalists clarify that the project of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and 150 media partners around the world "reveals the secrets of the parallel economy, which has actually been created by international banks, auditors and law firms."

In particular, according to the media, this structure "legitimized the secrecy of offshore jurisdictions and helps the powerful and wealthy avoid taxes, accountability, accumulate wealth, and as a result, accelerates economic inequality, depletes state resources and undermines democracy."

Now to the specifics. What have we learned from the new documents?

Zelensky, his entourage and London

In 2012, when the Kvartal 95 studio switched to the television channel of the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky (we are talking about 1 + 1), Zelensky and his entourage created a network of offshore companies, which now owns real estate in London cost millions of dollars.

Two close associates of Zelensky through this network became the owners of luxury real estate in London. In particular, the first assistant to the president, Serhiy Shefir.

Shefir, through an offshore company, owns two apartments in London with a total value of more than $ 5 million.

Another owner of valuable London real estate is also a former business partner of President Zelensky, screenwriter and director of Kvartal 95 films and TV series Andriy Yakovlev.

According to the UK Land Registry, the firm, which, according to a number of other offshore companies, belongs to Yakovlev, owns an apartment in central London, a 10-minute walk from Parliament.

According to documents analyzed by journalists, the cost of this apartment was more than $ 2 million.

"But expensive apartments in London are not the only find of Pandora Papers. Thanks to these documents, it was possible to reveal the" heart "of the offshore network of companies surrounding Zelensky," the journalists write.

And they clarify that they are talking about Maltex Multicapital Corp, registered in the British Virgin Islands, which was owned in equal shares by the incumbent president and his wife, brothers Serhiy and Borys Shefir and the already mentioned Yakovlev.

Related: EU reacts to Saakashvili’s detention upon his return to Georgia, - Jozwiak

Almost three weeks before the first round of the presidential election, Zelensky donated his 25% stake in this company to his first assistant Shefir, because he is not a civil servant, and therefore does not have to report his income publicly and not fill out an annual income statement.

According to the Pandora Papers, the aforementioned Yakovlev owns Candlewood Investments Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands, among a number of other firms.

According to MP Volodymyr Aryev, a company with this name could receive millions of dollars from Privatbank during 2012-2016 due to companies associated with the Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.

 Sources of Slidstvo.Info confirm the reliability of the scheme published by the MP.

Neither Yakovlev, nor the head of the SBU Bakanov, nor Serhiy Shefir, nor Volodymyr Zelensky provided any comments on this topic.

What else did they manage to find out?

The daughter of the head of the Poroshenko’s Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin bought an apartment in a prestigious area of ​​London on a loan. She received a loan from Virginia Future Definite Holdings Limited, her father's company.

At the same time, neither a company named Future Definite Holdings nor a large loan were included in Lozhkin's declaration for either 2014 or 2015.

Among the owners of British real estate are: ex-co-owner of Privatbank Gennady Bogolyubov, Ukrainian businessman Olexandr Yaroslavsky, business partner of Dmytro Firtash Igor Voronin, daughter of ex-head of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine Serhiy Kivalov Tatyana (she owns five real estate objects at once).

The current Minister of Culture Olexandr Tkachenko is also mentioned in Pandora Papers.

"The documents of international providers indicate the involvement of the managers of the companies of the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky in an attempt to seize a controlling stake in a film studio on the Black Sea coast (the Dovzhenko studio, - ed.)", the journalists write.

The Pandora Papers also features a scheme for withdrawing money from Privatbank, or rather, for participation in a scheme of large legal companies that created and served offshore companies.

“As it turned out, providers of services for offshore companies misinformed the financial monitoring of several countries of the world at once as to who is behind these companies, through whose accounts hundreds of millions of dollars withdrawn from Privatbank gone,” the journalists report.

Another part of the documents concerns the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

"The Pandora Papers documents also testify to the fact that the financial monitoring of the British Virgin Islands was investigating InvestCom, the offshore company of a wealthy man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov."

At the same time, the journalists clarify that it is known from the documents of the providers that Akhmetov is a "well-known client" for international registrar companies and often uses their services, in particular, to take a loan from an international bank for the purchase of an elite aircraft.

Pandora Papers also discovered a network of offshore companies that belonged to MP Olexandr Hereha. These firms are associated with a chain of hypermarkets in the occupied Crimea.

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