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Pandora Papers: Elite housing of Ukrainian politicians in London, Akhmetov's plane, the Herehas’ Crimean business

Elite real estate of the Ukrainian political elite, the work of Epicenter in Crimea, and a loan for Akhmetov's plane—journalistic investigation. Photo; Pixabay

Elite real estate of the Ukrainian political elite, the work of Epicenter in Crimea, and a loan for Akhmetov's plane—journalistic investigation. Photo; Pixabay

Through a massive leak of classified information, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has shed light on the secret wealth of world heads of state, politicians, artists, businessmen, and billionaires. The list of defendants includes both Ukrainian entrepreneurs and politicians (current and former), including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reports the outlet Slidstvo.Info.

The Ukrainian list of owners of luxury property in the UK includes:

  • Borys Lozhkin. Just a few days after Lozhkin was appointed Head of the Administration of Petro Poroshenko, the fifth President of Ukraine, (June 2014), his daughter became the owner of luxury housing in the British capital. Its price was about $4.6 million. According to investigators, Anastasiia Lozhkina bought real estate on credit. She made a loan from an offshore company Future Definite Holdings Limited (registered in the Virgin Islands), the owner of the company is her father.
  • Henadiy Boholyubov. Investigators have found that he is associated with at least nine properties in the UK.
  • Serhiy Kivalov. His daughter, Tetiana, is the owner of five properties in the British capital. According to estimates, three of them cost the family of the former Head of the Central Election Commission at least $13.5 million. Apartments were bought through offshore companies at the time when Kivalov was the MP.
  • Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi (ex-co-owner of Ukrsibbank) and Ihor Voronin (partner of Dmytro Firtash) also secretly acquired property in London.

Through a branching network of offshore companies associated with President Zelenskyy, his First Assistant Serhiy Shefir and member of the studio Kvartal Andriy Yakovlev also own elite real estate in the heart of Great Britain.

A loan of tens of millions of dollars for Akhmetov's plane

The data leakage also revealed details of oligarch Rinat Akhmetov's purchase of a jet plane in 2014. To get a "new acquisition", the businessman urgently, with the help of a provider in the Virgin Islands called Trident Trust, registered two offshore companies at once—Inglen Investments Limited and Pluscom Holdings Limited. In a matter of months, one of the named companies received a loan for an unspecified amount from Credit Suisse. The cost of the Falcon 7X at that time was about 50 million. Trident Trust refused to discuss its wealthy client.

Business of Epicenter owners in Crimea

The investigators have found evidence to prove the involvement of Oleksandr and Halyna Herehas, the owners of the Epicenter, in doing business in the temporarily occupied Crimea. The leaked documents contain information that the spouses were the owners of five Cypriot companies that they owned through a number of offshore firms. This branching system gave them the ability to avoid declarations. According to official documents, the couple had ties with three Cypriot companies. The Herehas "forgot" to include two more in the declaration—Samelio Holdings Limited and Edlagor Enterprises Limited. Meanwhile, it is Edlagor Enterprises Limited that owns the largest supermarket chain in the occupied peninsula. Oleksandr Hereha stated in a commentary that he was not engaged in business in Crimea and had lost control over the Epicenters on the peninsula after its annexation.

The Pandora Papers is the largest database of hidden fortunes, tax evasion, and money laundering through clandestine offshore companies to date. It sheds light on the financial secrets of the world's richest and most powerful people. The Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) came into possession of an archive of nearly 12 million classified documents, making this leak larger than the Panama Papers (2016) and the Paradise Papers (2017). More than 600 journalists worked on their analysis, including from the Washington Post, Le Monde, El País, Süddeutsche Zeitung, PBS Frontline, BBC, and The Guardian. The files contain the "secrets" of 35 current and former leaders, more than 330 politicians and civil servants, celebrities, businessmen, and billionaires from the USA, Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia and other countries.

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