Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov: I ordered to create the Department
on the return of assets obtained by criminal means. This Department will play
one of the most important roles in the criminal and anti–corruption
investigations related to the illegal transfer of money from Ukraine.
– To ensure close
direct cooperation with law enforcement agencies of other countries in order to
detect and to freeze as soon as possible the assets of persons that are under investigation by MIA–Ukraine both in Ukraine and abroad. To interact with
the US FBI and special contact centers in more than one hundred countries
around the world, which have to provide assistance in the search and return of
assets as well as with other relevant organizations;
– To ensure
collecting criminal assets in favor of the Ukrainian state on the basis of
decisions of Ukrainian and foreign judicial authorities;
– To provide
analytical support of the MIA investigative activity and to ensure coordination
and interaction with Gosfinmonitoring (State Agency
for Financial Monitoring) and the General Prosecutor's Office within the tasks
assigned to the Department;
– To collect and to
analyze information from all public information sources in other countries in
order to maximize the effectiveness of the investigative activity of the MIA–Ukraine.
To reveal the
public funds brought out of Ukraine by the former Minister of Ecology Nikolay Zlochevsky, including 23
million euros defrozen by
the High Court of England in January, 2015. To ensure
imposing of arrest on Zlochevsky's funds within
framework of criminal proceedings.
Cases involving Sergey Kurchenko
to Sergey Kurchenko were involved in the very big
scale fraud and money laundering: for example, in Kharkiv
via only one natural person UAH13 billions were laundered and transfered abroad. Given the scale of fraud the Department
actually for the first time in the history initiates creation of the
international investigation team with law enforcement agencies of Latvia, which
has already opened in Latvia a parallel criminal case No. 11816005914 on the
money laundering facts in the Latvian banks. It will allow to
use legal options and mechanisms of the European Union and will speed up
receiving and fixing of necessary information. The Department will provide
analytical support and cooperation of the international investigation of
activities of Kurchenko.
At the same time
the real debtors of Kurchenko's companies will be
established in order to recover their debts.
And we are talking about tens of millions of dollars.
Cases related to the Dmitry Firtash Group of
Concerning Firtash's companies, the analytical assessment of his
assets abroad will be carried out, including those assets for which information
is provided in extraditional documents of the USA.
(USA requests extradition of Dmitry Firtash from
Austria). The compliance between the activities of its companies in Ukraine and
data, declared in other countries, will be checked. For example, in England the
majority of registered there Firtash's
companies are exempted from the obligation to supply detailed accounting
reports as belonging to small business.
At the same time one company, allegedly connected with Ukraine, declared
in 2013 the assets in the amount of US$61,298,000.00 but according to the
results of 2014 showed a negative balance that testifies to large–scale
concealment of assets.
There is also a
task to find the revenues from the sale of natural gas received by Firtash's company from the State Company "Gas of
Ukraine"; this deal resulted in the losses to the state amounting to UAH
Besides, the legal
assessment will be given to cardinal change of position by the NAK "Naftogaz of Ukraine" in the Stockholm arbitration. The
lawyers, representing the state company, had warned that this change will
result in losing the case and indeed the Firtash's
companies won a claim to the "Naftogaz" in
the amount of 11 billion cubic meters of gas.
Case of Gosinvestproekt (State Investment Agency) and
his former head Kaskiv
The Department has
to find UAH 95,550,000.77 which Gosinvestproekt
remitted to a number of Ukrainian legal entities; these entities then converted
received money into the currency and transfered it to
the accounts of offshore companies.
of the Department an element of implementation of the Plan of the European
Union and Ukraine on visa facilitation.
of the Department:
Elena Tishchenko is appointed the head of the Department.
She is a bright
extraordinary personality – just in accordance with the tasks she faces. There is a very
small number of such experts. This person will be effective and will help us to
return the assets that have been illegally exported from Ukraine.
You are reproaching
law enforcement authorities that they can not return
the assets that were taken abroad illegally? We are handling this problem.
Illegal offshore schemes, which were built over the years – it's a tangle.
There are very few experts that can untangle these schemes. And we can't
succeed without such experts today.
This expert worked
at a very specific, high and complex level. Accordingly, she faced resistance
from the very influential persons with huge opportunities. And she took the heat and was efficient.
Yelena Tishchenko – international lawyer with two full legal education: Ukrainian
and English. She received a Master of International Business Law at the London
School of Economics and Political Science. Specialization: international
financial crimes. Has 18 years of working experience, of which more than 8
After the first Maidan Yelena Tishchenko left
commercial activity and came to work in the Parliament Committee on the fight
against organized crime and corruption. She was engaged in reprivatization
of Kryvorizhstal plant and the development of state
programs for the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
In 2013 Yelena Tishchenko, participating as defense lawyer in the
international process, which featured Russian opposition, has become the
subject of attack of Russian secret services. She spent four months in the same
cell of a pre–trial detention center where later was held Nadezhda
Savchenko. Two weeks Yelena was on hunger
At the same time
she was subjected to the international black PR campaign by which her pursuers
wanted to justify their actions.
In 2014, she was
responsible for cooperation with law enforcement agencies at the Administration
of the President of Ukraine and was a delegate from Ukraine to GRECO (Group of
States Against Corruption). She is the author of
regulations on creation of the Interdepartmental Commission for the return of
assets. Yelena is a mother of four children.