Millions from Ukraine’s corrupt schemes found in 41 countries

Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau said that millions of dollars in proceeds from domestic corruption have been found in 41 countries, the Kyiv Post reported Tuesday.

Mykola Martynenko copyMykola Martynenko (Photo: Channel UTR)Businesses in at least 10 countries have helped funnel the illegal money out of Ukraine, the bureau said in an April 24 Facebook post. Some US $208 million went to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, US $10.8 million to Austria and US $99 million to Cyprus, according to a video.

The figures surfaced as part of the bureau’s over year-long investigation into state enterprise Eastern Ore Mining and Processing, where corrupt officials allegedly embezzled US $17.28 million between 2013 and 2016 which involved artificially inflating prices on the procurement of Kazakh uranium concentrate and channeling the funds through an Austrian shell company.

As part of the ongoing investigation, Kyiv last week detained Mykola Martynenko, a former member of parliament and top ally of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, as well as Sergiy Pereloma, a senior energy executive. Both their lawyers denied any wrongdoing.

"The case on the damage inflicted by Eastern Ore Mining and Processing is unique, not only because of its significance for Ukraine as Europe’s biggest uranium mining enterprise, but also because of the amount of work carried out by the bureau in relation to the corruption schemes carried out there," said a statement on the bureau’s website. "Among all investigations, it has set a record in terms of the volume of correspondence with institutions in other countries.”

The bureau, which has so far enlisted more cross-border help than any other probe it has undertaken, said that information received from foreign authorities suggests funds stolen by officials at Eastern Ore Mining and Processing were spent on things such as medical services and property rentals in European Union countries.