Ukrainian tycoon detained in France for investigation

PARIS (HPD) — A Ukrainian businessman and former lawmaker suspected of embezzling more than $100 million has been detained at a luxury ski resort in the French Alps, Ukrainian authorities said.

French police arrested Kostiantyn Zhevago at a hotel in Courchevel on Tuesday based on an international warrant, the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. He added that Zhevago was scheduled to appear in court in Chambery on Wednesday in a first step toward eventual extradition.

Chambery prosecutors confirmed the arrest, adding that Zhevago would appear in court on Wednesday or Thursday for the first stage of the extradition request process. The prosecution is awaiting Ukrainian government documents supporting the extradition demand and had no further comment on the case.

Zhevago was the main beneficiary of the now-defunct Credit and Finance Bank of Ukraine and former CEO of the mining company Ferrexpo, which is among the world’s leading exporters of iron ore pellets and had a base of operations in central Ukraine. .

Zhevago served in the Ukrainian Parliament from 1998 to 2019, mainly as an independent.

Ukrainian authorities launched a criminal case in 2019, in which he and other top managers of the bank were charged with jointly embezzling more than $100 million from the bank itself. The investigative office said his alleged scheme harmed “the interests of the state and bank depositors.”

Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for Zhevago in 2019, followed by an international warrant in 2021. Zhevago’s properties, companies linked to him, and other assets in Ukraine were seized.

The arrest was announced as the French Defense Minister was visiting Ukraine to show French military support for Ukrainian forces. His office said the arrest was unrelated to the visit, the first by a French defense chief since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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