Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

offshore information 330 officials and politicians from 90 countries, including 35 leaders, 130 billionaires, arms dealers, pop stars and international criminals. Pandora Papers include ministers, mayors, ambassadors, generals, bankers, presidential advisors, and the presidents themselves. The investigation was conducted by 600 journalists from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists from 117 countries. Read today in USA.ONE :

Pandora Papers Opens & # 34; offshore box & # 34;

There are most Ukrainian politicians in it and Volodymyr Zelenskyy is no exception.

What is Pandora Papers? Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

It took ICIJ journalists 2 years to process 2.9 TB of information on 11.9 million offshore documents. They believed that their investigation into the financial machinations of politicians around the world had opened a Pandora's Box, hence the name Pandora Papers. Documents spanning 50 years have been shared by journalists with 150 media partners, launching the most global collaboration in the history of journalism. In particular, they contain information on more than 29 thousand beneficial owners, which is 2 times more than the owners of offshore companies identified 5 years ago during the Panama Papers investigation.

Thanks to Pandora, it became known about 6.4 million documents, 3 million images, over a million emails and about half a million spreadsheets. It is unclear who was the source of the leak, but it is reported that this is data from 14 offshore registrar companies located in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Panama, UAE, Belize, Switzerland and Singapore. Among 336 politicians exposed in financial fraud, most of all are Ukrainian — 38. According to ICIJ, the amount of hidden income ranges from 5.6 to 32 trillion dollars. Due to the withdrawal of funds to offshores, the governments of the countries lose about $ 600 billion annually.

The Virgin Islands were the favorite place to hide income among politicians. They are associated with 950 offshore companies. Taking money offshore is not a crime in itself, but using an intricate network of confidential companies to move funds and assets is a great way to hide the proceeds of crime. ICIJ reporters have uncovered the secret deals of hundreds of billionaires and government officials, as well as dozens of world leaders around the world. Among the most famous and influential are Vladimir Putin, King of Jordan Abdullah II and Vladimir Zelensky.

How is the President of Ukraine involved in the withdrawal of money from PrivatBank? Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his entourage may be involved in the transfer of $ 40 million from structures associated with Igor Kolomoisky. During the election campaign in 2019, it became known that in the spring of 2012 & # 34; Quarter 95 & # 34; registered over 10 firms in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus and Belize. Maltex Multicapital Corp was divided between Zelensky's firms, the Shefir brothers and Andrei Yakovlev, the scriptwriter of the studio & # 34; Quarter 95 & # 34 ;.

The nominal owner of the company was Davegra Limited, whose head was the current head of the SBU Ivan Bakanov … It was he who signed the & # 34; Declaration of Trust & # 34; in which the relationship between the nominee and the real owner of the company was recorded. That is, Bakanov's firm acted as the nominal owner of Maltex Multicapital Corp to hide Vladimir Zelensky and his associates.

According to the Pandora Papers, $ 40 million was a formal contribution to the company's share capital. Structures that listed & # 34; kvartalovtsy & # 34; money is suspected of money laundering from PrivatBank, co-owned by Igor Kolomoisky. The money was transferred through the Cyprus branch of PrivatBank. From the documents it becomes clear that at least one company has & # 34; Quarter 95 & # 34; there was an account in this bank. To the question & # 34; Why & # 34; quarters & # 34; offshore? & # 34; only Boris Shefir answered:

& # 34; And ask the legislators who created such a situation. Business is under constant threat of bandits coming to power. At that time, it was extremely important to protect your interests. & # 34;

What is known about the offshores of Zelensky and his entourage? Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

In 2012, Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his associates created a network of offshore firms that owns luxury real estate in London, the value of which is estimated at millions of dollars. For example, Sergey Shefir owns two apartments in the capital of Great Britain, the price of which is more than $ 5 million. Screenwriter studio & # 34; Quarter 95 & # 34; Andrey Yakovlev is a home owner for 2 million. In total, at least 681 owners of luxury real estate in the UK are listed in the Pandora Papers documents, of which more than 10 are Ukrainians who hide assets through offshore companies.

In June 2014, 6 days after the appointment of Boris Lozhkin as head of the presidential administration, Petro Poroshenko, his daughter Anastasia bought an apartment in London worth $ 4.6 million. She borrowed money from the Virginian company Future Definite Holdings Limited, which is owned by … her father Boris Lozhkin. At least 9 objects in Britain belong to Gennady Bogolyubov, whose name is involved in the scandal with the withdrawal of money from PrivatBank. Igor Voronin and Alexander Yaroslavsky have property in the center of the capital. Another 5 properties are registered in the name of the daughter of Sergei Kivalov, the former head of the Central Election Commission. They were purchased in 1999-2003 through offshore companies.

In 2016, Minister of Culture Alexander Tkachenko was the general producer of the TV channel & # 34; 1 + 1 & # 34; and received a quarter of the shares of the state film studio in Odessa. In 2018, his partner was the developer Andrey Vavrysh, who was interested in the construction of real estate & # 34; for film crews & # 34; on the territory of the film studio. The construction was illegal, but only until Tkachenko became the head of the parliamentary committee on humanitarian and information policy. Next, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on the conditions for the privatization of state film studios. Tkachenko himself said that in 2020 he sold his share to banker Alexander Morozov. The amount of the transaction was not indicated in the declaration.

How was money withdrawn from PrivatBank? Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

Private correspondence between international providers Triden Trust and Cititrust suggests that these companies may be involved in the withdrawal of funds from PrivatBank. The activities of offshore companies associated with Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov were investigated by the regulatory authorities of Belize and Cyprus even before the nationalization of PrivatBank. One of these companies, Jarvis Trading Limited, received a $ 86 million loan from a bank in 2010.

A year later, the financial monitoring of Belize contacted Cititrust to find out the identity of the owner of Jarvis Trading Limited, but the provider refused to disclose his name. Triden Trust left unanswered a request from the Cypriot authorities regarding the real owner of Ravenscroft Holdings. But both there and there the real owners of the firms were people from Kolomoisky's entourage.

MP Alexander Gerega also had a network of offshore companies, according to Pandora Pipers. According to the documents, he and his wife own 5 firms in Cyprus, which they own through the Gold Taurus Stiftung and Fundationsanstalt funds. Geregi's company Edlagor Enterprises Limited owns the chain & # 34; Novatsentr K & # 34; — construction and utility hypermarkets in Crimea, which are, in particular, in Simferopol and Sevastopol.

In 2014, representatives of Rinat Akhmetov turned to Triden Trust with a request to register 2 offshore companies for the acquisition of the Falcon 7X business-class aircraft, whose value exceeds $ 50 million. The same plane was once owned by the presidents of Russia and France. The Triden Trust worked with the oligarch until at least 2018.

How was the Zelensky's Office reacted to the Pandora Papers? Offshore scandal: what is Pandora Papers and what does Zelensky have to do with it?

The Office of the President of Ukraine claims that he complies with all the norms of anti-corruption legislation, and the offshore schemes of 2012 were & # 34; peculiarities of the market & # 34 ;. Mikhail Podolyak, an advisor to the head of the OPU, said:

& # 34; The business of the pre-presidential years was never associated with state money or administrative capabilities. & # 34;

According to him, after the inauguration, Vladimir Zelensky complies with the requirements of anti-corruption legislation and journalists have nothing for him after 2019. Andrei Yermak's advisor says that the Pandora Papers investigation contains & # 34; a lot of conspiracy ties and assumptions & # 34; and most of the information was already voiced during the elections by Zelensky's opponent Petro Poroshenko.

& # 34; Strange reanimate this information now. Then Yanukovych was in power, and Poroshenko was the Minister of Economy. At that time, it was logical for business in the country to legally protect their companies and finances from unlawful seizure by corrupt officials, & # 34; — he added.

According to Podolyak, business studio & # 34; Quarter 95 & # 34; remains & # 34; white & # 34; and transparent. And attempts to attach him to the history of PrivatBank are pure conspiracy theories and are not based on facts. Nevertheless, while Vladimir Zelensky imitates the fight against corruption and oligarchs, Igor Kolomoisky continues to bite off his former property — PrivatBank, taking advantage of the unreformed judicial system and complete stagnation in law enforcement investigations about financial fraud in the bank.

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