Spain: Video Shows Arrest of Former Kyiv Mayor’s Son

The Spanish police released a video last week showing the arrest of the son of the former mayor of Kyiv in connection to a multi-million dollar money laundering ring  – contradicting claims by his father that he was free. 

Черновецькии Леонід Михаилович 2006Leonid Chernovetskyi, Former Kyiv Mayor (Photo: AMY / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0)Stepan Chernovetskyi was arrested in Barcelona on July 12 along with 10 other people, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, for the alleged laundering of nearly 10 million (US$ 11 million) through local property purchases. 

The former mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Leonid Chernovetskyi, had initially angrily denied media reports of his son’s arrest, telling the Kyiv Post: “The local press and police will bear responsibility for this whole-cloth lie to the fullest extent of the Spanish laws.”

The elder Chernovetskyi also said in a Facebook post his son was at home in Barcelona and was merely questioned by police about “a man he might know.”  

Spanish authorities say the ring of which Stepan Chernovetskyi was allegedly a part had funneled funds from offshore accounts in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands into the Spanish property purchases. Sixteen locations were raided during the law enforcement operation.

The video of Chernovetskyi’s arrest, posted by the news site Hromadske.tv, also showed a haul of seized cars, money, phones and jewelry.

Leonid Chernovetskyi ran Kyiv between 2006 and 2012. In December 2014, an investigative committee of Ukraine’s parliament found a hole of up to 70 billion hryvnia ($US 2.8 billion) in the city’s budget during his term. He currently lives in Georgia.

The elder Chernovetskyi announced last December the handover of all his business operations to Stepan.