According to the journalists of Ukrayinska Pravda, Zhevago is now in Monaco, writes Gordon
In pursuance of the court decision, during 2020-2021, the former people's deputy and one of the richest people in Ukraine, Konstantin Zhevago, partially repaid his debt to the National Bank – in the amount of UAH 100 million out of 1.5 billion. Journalists of the Business.Censor publication reported such a response from the NBU in their investigation, which was published on December 19 on YouTube.
“The state executor described and arrested 9% of the authorized capital of the Vorskla Stal company, it only owns a land plot for the never-built Zhevago metallurgical plant. The cost of this share is unknown to the National Bank,” the journalists voiced the response of the NBU.
The National Bank told investigators that Zhevago’s other assets were not identified on the territory of Ukraine.
As the publication recalls, in December 2019, the NBU received a court decision to recover UAH 1.54 billion from the billionaire – this is a debt on loans from the bankrupt Finance and Credit Bank, for which the businessman provided a personal guarantee. In January 2020, the State Executive Service of the Ministry of Justice opened proceedings on the forced recovery of these funds. But the state has not been able to recover this amount from the billionaire for three years now.
According to Business.Censor, the National Bank has all the necessary financial instruments to identify the relevant assets and amounts of residents of Ukraine, for example, it can monitor the movement of funds of the Zhevago Ferrexpo company. Also, the NBU can apply for the recovery of foreign assets of a businessman to the courts of the respective countries, but does not do this, the authors noted.
Journalists believe that the Ministry of Justice could have carried out effective legal work through the state executor, but the department refused to answer on the merits to the editors' request about whether the funds were recovered, declaring the secrecy of the enforcement proceedings. Ivan Neshchadym, an official of the Ministry of Justice, who in 2017 was one of the top most paid officials in Ukraine with a salary of UAH 1.5 million per month, answered a request from Business.Censor, the publication stressed.
As the authors note, Zhevago does not hide his Ukrainian assets abroad. The report, registered in the UK by Ferrexpo, for the first half of 2022 lists transactions with companies indicated as controlled by or associated with the businessman. Among them are Omega Insurance Company, AvtoKrAZ, Uzhgorod Turbogaz, Kyiv Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Plant, Vorskla Football Club, Arterium Pharmaceutical Corporation, Kremenchugmyaso and others. Most of these assets in Ukrainian registries have a complex ownership structure that leads to offshore companies and individuals with signs of nominal owners. Journalists said that Ferrexpo has received more than $1.5 billion in net profit over the past two years, Zhevago received a significant part of them, but repaid less than $4 million in debt to Ukraine.
Since 2019, Zhevago has been on the wanted list in the case of the State Bureau of Investigation on the withdrawal of $113 million (now about UAH 4 billion) from the bankrupt Finance and Credit bank controlled by him. As stated in the story, “the Zhevago case has been marking time for more than three years. No one is actually looking for a fugitive oligarch through Interpol. PR statements are fed to the public.”
- According to the journalists of Ukrayinska Pravda, Zhevago is now in Monaco. There, the businessman was spotted on his yacht with the name “Z” worth about $70 million. Zhevago refused to change the name of the yacht or sell it.
- According to Forbes, Zhevago is one of the three richest Ukrainian businessmen. Before the full-scale war, all of his assets were valued at more than $ 2 billion. He owns more than 50% in the Ferrexpo mining company. It owns Poltava and other mining and processing plants in Ukraine.
- Employees of the State Bureau of Investigation in November conducted searches at enterprises related to Zhevago, the Interfax-Ukraine agency wrote on November 25, citing its sources in the department. According to the insider, it was about the enterprises of the Arterium corporation. According to Ukrainian News, Arterium has been operating in Russia since 2010. “The portfolio of the corporation includes over 150 drugs that are still available in the aggressor country, including drugs to fight heart disease. At the same time, the pharmaceutical company has not yet announced a complete cessation of business ties with Russia,” the agency points out.
- On November 18, Interfax-Ukraine reported that employees of the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine were carrying out investigative actions at other enterprises associated with Zhevago. Thus, searches were carried out in the administrative and office buildings of two mining and processing plants, which are suspected of deliberately underestimating the rent for the use of subsoil, which led to a shortfall of UAH 10 billion in the state budget.