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 Ukraine fails to return embezzled funds as information exchange with Latvia flops, - lawyer

Ukraine has failed to return money stolen by certain Yanukovych era officials and kept on bank accounts in Latvia due to the lack of communication with Latvia's law enforcement agencies.

Сensor.NET reports referring to lawyer Olena Tyshchenko's blog.

As noted, some 50 million euros allegedly acquired by criminal means in Ukraine has been seized in favor of the Latvian budget. $49.3 million of these funds belonged to Ukraine's ex-Deputy Prime Minister Serhii Arbuzov. According to Tyshchenko, the bank accounts of off-shore companies owned by Ukrainian oligarch Serhii Kurchenko and former Ecology Minister Zlochevskyi have been frozen as part of criminal proceedings in Latvia. Moreover, $32 million and 72 million Swiss francs belonging to businessman and politician Yurii Ivaniushchenko "got stuck" in Latvia's banks as well.

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

The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine was well aware of these amounts as it was officially notified of the arrested funds in April 2015 when the top officials of Latvia's PGO arrived in Ukraine. In particular, a series of meetings was held with relevant Deputy Prosecutor General Vitalii Kasko.

"...Kasko, presumably set to conceal this information as one of the subjects in the Latvian case - Kurchenko - was a client of Arzinger law firm where Kasko was a partner, blocked the exchange of information with Latvia's law enforcement agencies... None of the requests by the Latvian side was really answered. Instead, it received run-around replies: 'can not be established, the witness is not the place of registration, etc.' Overall, the Latvian side called these replies 'frankly offensive'," Tyshchenko wrote.

Consequently, according to her, Ukraine has failed to satisfy both queries on the arrested Latvian accounts and requests by the Latvian prosecutor's office.

"Since the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine has not provided the Prosecutor General's Office of Latvia with the requested information, as Latvia's Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers reiterated in his recent speech, the Ukrainian funds in the amount of almost 50 million euros have been seized in favor of the Republic of Latvia, and the probe has been stopped," Tyshchenko concluded.

Read more: Latvian-confiscated €50M of former Ukrainian officials could be returned to Ukraine under European Council and UN conventions, - PGO
Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n405745