Source The Interior Ministry has accused the Ukrainian oligarch of embezzling $400m and arrested him in absentia. Igor Kolomoyskyy was arrested in absentia and with lawyers by appointment the day before in Kazan. The oligarch, who is accused of machinations with the joint project of Tatneft, is already wanted. The press service of the court stated: in 2006-2007 Kolomoisky and his business partners had stolen more than 800 thousand tons of Tatarstan oil. Details of the investigation are in the story of BIZNES Online.
The oligarch was defended by on-duty lawyers
Sensational news came from the Vakhitovsky district court in Kazan. Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoysky was arrested there. However, he did not attend the hearing in person – he is internationally wanted. So the investigator of the Main Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tatarstan applied for his arrest in absentia, and the grounds were the data of the republican Department of the Economic Crimes and Corruption Bureau.
Details of the case were told in the press service of the Vakhitovsky court, which considered the application. Thus, Kolomoysky was charged under part 3 of article 33, part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code (“Incitement to theft or embezzlement”). And also under a more serious article on the establishment of a criminal association (part 1 of Article 210 of the Criminal Code). It carries a maximum sentence of 12 to 20 years in prison.
According to the investigation, between December 2006 and October 2007, Kolomoyskyy, as well as Ukrainian businessmen Hennadiy Boholyubov, Oleksandr Iaroslavskyy and board chairman of Ukrtatnafta Pavel Ovcharenko, “acting in a criminal association” stole over 800 thousand tons of Tatarstan oil worth over $400 million. This oil, investigators believe, was supplied by Tatarstan’s Tatneft through pipelines through intermediaries and ended up in the tanks of the Ukrtatnafta refinery in Poltava Region, Ukraine.
What is the crux of the dispute?
A criminal case was initiated back in 2021 in Tatarstan, and at the time no preventive measure was chosen for the defendants. Now the investigator said: in view of the fact that Kolomoyskyy, being at liberty, may put pressure on witnesses or “otherwise impede the proceedings in the criminal case”, he should be arrested. “When deciding on a preventive measure in the form of detention, the court took into account the gravity, nature and specific circumstances of the crime, as well as information about his personality,” the court said. Under the court ruling, Kolomoyskyy was arrested for two months from the moment of his extradition to Russia. He is now on an international wanted list. According to the sources of BUSINESS Online, Kolomoyskyy’s interests were defended at the hearing by two on-duty lawyers, certain Sabitov and Volodyagina.
Apart from Kolomoyskyy, the investigation also asked for Boholyubov’s arrest. The court also granted the investigator’s request.
The last time Kolomoyskyy appeared in public was at the beginning of October: at an interrogation
Kolomoisky’s personality is widely known not only in his homeland, Ukraine, but also beyond its borders. He was born in 1963 in Dnepropetrovsk into a family of engineers. After finishing school, he followed his parents’ footsteps and became an “engineer-metallurgist” at the Institute.
Kolomoysky discovered his entrepreneurial streak early on. In his youth he was engaged in photography. For a small sum of money he used his technique to increase the size of images. The business proved quite profitable, and along with the size of Kolomoiskiy’s capital his ambition grew. The photographic business gave way to a more serious business. In the 80s Kolomoisky teamed up with his comrades Bogolyubov and Alexey Martynov. Together they started Fianit, one of the first cooperatives in Ukraine. A few months later they set up their own co-operative called Sentosa. The firm was engaged in selling machinery. The scheme for making money was to convert non-cash rubles, money and resell new machinery.
In 1992, Kolomoisky set up a commercial Privatbank with Martynov and Bogolyubov. Ukraine's VIPs became the bank's first depositors. And Privatbank’s board was chaired by the country’s future Minister of Economy, Sergiy Tigipko.
From 1995 to 2000, the bank engaged in voucher privatisation. A financial-industrial group, Privat, is created. During privatisation, the company takes control of Ukraine’s largest enterprises, including the oil and gas producer Ukrnafta. The businessman subsequently appropriated 49.15% of the company.
Since 1998, Kolomoisky has been a member of the board of trustees of the Dnipropetrovsk Jewish community. Ten years later, in 2008, he became president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, a Ukrainian union of Jewish public organizations. He is also one of the brightest representatives of Lubavitcher Hasidism.
In 2014-2015, Kolomoysky was the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional city administration. In the same 2015, he was removed from his post by decree of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. As a result of the activities of the Privat group, Kolomoyskyy received shares in the media holding 1+1 Media. In 2012, the holding’s channel of the same name broadcasted programmes of the studio of the current president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. His TV series “Servant of the People” also aired there. Therefore Kolomoisky was considered to be Zelensky’s patron and sponsor. However, this did not keep him out of trouble with the law: in 2020, after Zelensky was elected, he was declared wanted in America – for money laundering on US territory.
Forbes estimated the businessman’s fortune at $1.8 billion for 2021. The last time Kolomoyskyy appeared in public was on 4 October, when he travelled to Kiev to testify before the national anti-corruption bureau of Ukraine.