2 Feb 2023 14:15

Ukraine law enforcement investigating $16.6 mln tax fraud at Ukrtatnafta

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) - Detectives from the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine (ESBU) suspect the former acting first deputy chairman of the board of Ukrtatnafta or Kremenchug Oil Refinery of evading a payment of UAH 605.9 million or $16.6 million in excise tax.

"The official is suspected of deliberate tax evasion on an especially large scale; he was ordered as a preventive measure to post bail, which was set at almost UAH 200 million," the Ukrainian media said, citing a statement on the ESBU website.

The investigation established that in January 2022, the management of the enterprise declared excise taxes due for payment by the oil refinery with a deadline of March 2, 2022. However, UAH 605.9 million in taxes were deliberately not transferred to the state budget.

At that time, Ruslan Lyapka was the acting first deputy CEO of Ukrtatnafta.

"At present, authorized searches are being conducted at fuel and lubricants warehouses belonging to the oil refining company, and additional cases of criminal activity by managers at this and other enterprises in the oil refining industry are being investigated. ESBU is also investigating facts related to the misappropriation and waste of fuels and lubricants with an estimated cost of UAH 40 billion [approximately $1.1 billion] by the former management of the country's two largest oil companies - Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta, the report says.

Pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings is being carried out by ESBU detectives under the procedural guidance of prosecutors from the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine.

As reported, on February 1, the Security Service of Ukraine, together with the ESBU, conducted a series of searches as part of an investigation into the misappropriation of UAH 40 billion by the former management of Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta.

Specifically, the search was carried out at the home of businessman Igor Kolomoisky, a former shareholder in Ukrnafta and Ukrtatnafta.