I am an honest Ukrainian businessman — Sergei Kurchenko
Sergei Kurchenko owner of the group of companies «Eastern Fuel and Energy Company» (VETEK), is surprised by EU sanctions against him and declares that he is ready to present the necessary documentation to facilitate investigation and prove his innocence.
“I am surprised that my name appeared in the list of people targeted by EU sanctions. But even more, I’m surprised by the phrase “A person subject to investigation for participation in crimes related to embezzlement of public funds and their illegal withdrawal from Ukraine.” I am honest Ukrainian businessman who always invested in Ukraine, and it is here that almost all of my businesses concentrated. Owned by me group of companies was repeatedly subjected to checks by the police and no serious violations were found,” said Kurchenko.
He believes that someone is trying to own his companies and assures that all charges are provocations. “I think that what happened is a misunderstanding due to the information campaign launched against me and my Group by competitors worried about aggressive growth of VETEK. Moreover, a number of political forces in Ukraine are trying to take advantage of this in the interests of their sponsors, the oligarchs, trying to seize my assets on the background of unrest in the country. However, the presumption of innocence has not been cancelled yet; all charges against me are unfounded and extremely provocative.
Neither me, nor any company that I am related to, involved in no criminal case. And I’m sure that soon the misunderstanding that have appeared will be resolved. For my part, I am ready to provide all necessary documents and to fully support the EU inspection bodies to prove my innocence,” said Kurchenko.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov posted on social networks the information on Interior Ministry opening 11 criminal proceedings in respect of Sergei Kurchenko’s group of companies. According to him, employees of the Interior Ministry have uncovered a criminal scheme of import and sale of petroleum products by VETEK. It was found that companies of the group (Zovnitransgaz, Petrol, Petrol-Forwarding and Armada-Plus) over 2012-2013 imported UAH 25 billion worth of oil products for processing and subsequent “re-export” abroad. Due to non-payment of customs duties and taxes, the state budget lost about UAH 7 billion.
The authorities opened 11 criminal cases in Crimea, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Cherkassy, Kirovograd, Khmelnitsky, Lugansk, Rivne regions and the Kiev city. According to Avakov, investigation is in progress, investigators establish the ways of laundering the money from the illegal sale of fuel.