Law enforcement officers searched 16 regional gas companies associated with Firtash

According to the investigation, the top management of 16 regional gas companies associated with the oligarch Dmitry Firtash, using schemes, caused billions of hryvnias in damage to the state.

Law enforcement officers conducted searches in 16 regional gas companies

Detectives of the Economic Security Bureau, with operational escort from the Security Service, conducted searches in 16 regional gas enterprises and offices of the Regional Gas Company Group of Companies. Earlier, the National Security and Defense Council already promised to deal with Firtash’s business.

This was reported by the press service of the SBU. According to the report, as a result of the searches, the illegal use of tariff funds provided for the purchase of gas to cover production and technical losses was documented, which led to losses to the state in the amount of almost UAH 3.5 billion.

It is noted that the top management of 16 regional gas enterprises in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Lviv, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Volyn, Transcarpathian, Sumy, Rivne, Khmelnytsky, Chernihiv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, which are connected with one of the Ukrainian oligarchs.

“The scheme consisted in the fact that ‘on paper’ officials paid for gas to privately controlled companies, but in fact they did not receive gas from them. In fact, they carried out unauthorized extraction of blue fuel, which was in the gas transmission system and belonged to the state,” – says in the message.

It is emphasized that such actions in 2021 alone caused Ukraine losses of almost UAH 3.5 billion.

As noted in the SBU, the other part of the scheme was that oblgas companies received tariff payments from consumers, but the money received was not used to purchase gas, but was transferred to controlled commercial structures for withdrawal into the shadows.

At the same time, the regional gas companies continued to use the reserves of the state gas transportation system and thereby increased their debt to Naftogaz. In the future, the organizers of the scheme tried to “write off” the artificial debt at the expense of budgetary funds.

“However, the SBU officers exposed the deal and blocked its implementation. In two regions, the management of gas distribution companies was returned to state representatives,” the statement says.

Pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings started on the grounds of a criminal offense under Part 5 of Art. 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (appropriation, embezzlement or possession of property through abuse of office) and Part 3 of Art. 212 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion).

Read also:

More than half of the country’s gas is distributed by Firtash regional gas companies

Recall that in June 2022, the State Bureau of Investigation informed that the National Agency for the Detection, Search and Management of Assets Obtained from Corruption and Other Crimes (ARMA) transferred 26 regional gas distribution system operators to management.

There are more than 40 gas distribution network operators (so-called regional gas companies) in Ukraine. More than half of the country’s gas is distributed by the Regional Gas Company, owned by businessman Dmitry Firtash.

You may also be interested in the news:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *