April 4, 2016, 13:30
Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Office / Xinhua / Global Look Press
Text: Marina Baltacheva, Yuri Bogdanov
Poroshenko could not abandon their businesses, as promised at the beginning of the presidential term. The investigation showed Western journalists through offshore schemes Poroshenko could seriously earn, to save on taxes in his native Ukrainian budget. The reluctance of the President of Ukraine to go out of business or transfer it to the State's own field speaks volumes.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko growing increasingly difficult to hide corruption and other machinations of his pockets, and he was again at the epicenter of the scandal in the eyes of the entire world community.
All in chocolate
The International Centre for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) conducted an investigation, which revealed that Poroshenko has created an offshore company for the sale of assets of Roshen confectionery corporation, rather than to transfer control in a blind trust, as it had promised earlier. The investigation is based on the leak of information from the Panamanian company Mossack Fonseca, which provides legal assistance in the registration of companies in the offshore.
As it turned out, in August 2014 Mossack Fonseca submitted to the registration department of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) an application for registration of Prime Asset Partners Ltd. "The only owner was Poroshenko, Kiev Give us your address. Attached documents Copy of passport confirmed that it was the beneficial owner of the President of Ukraine ", - the authors of the report emphasize in OCCRP. They explained that the Prime Asset Partners plays the role of a holding company for the Ukrainian and Cypriot structures of Roshen confectionery corporation, as a source of funds should serve as "income from commercial activities."
"Kiev company ICU financial management, advising the president Poroshenko, said that two more were established structure: CEE Confectionery Investments Ltd. (Registered in Cyprus in September 2014) and Roshen Europe B.V. (Registered in the Netherlands in December 2014). This holding company owns the BVI with a Cypriot company, which in turn belongs to the Dutch company ", - the report added.
"I save millions of dollars in taxes Ukraine"
Executive director of Transparency International in Ukraine, Alexei Khmara already commented on the report, saying that "it is a serious problem." According to him, "there is a conflict of interests and, quite likely, as a violation of the constitution, which forbids the President to engage in business and anti-corruption legislation, under which the ban on private commercial activity extends to all officials".
The authors of the investigation added that although financial advisors Poroshenko, "say the BVI were chosen to make the Roshen Corporation more attractive to potential buyers from abroad, at the same time, this means that Poroshenko could save millions of dollars in taxes, which otherwise he would have to pay on Ukraine. "
"The bitter irony of this story is, in particular, that the news of the" presidential offshore "comes at a time when the Ukrainian government is actively fighting the use of" tax havens ", because of which, according to one of the international organizations, the country annually loses 11.6 billion dollars ", - emphasized in OCCRP.
The authors investigate reminded that during a press conference in Kiev last January, President of Ukraine said that in early 2016 all shares Roshen belonging to it were transferred to the so-called blind trust or in an anonymous trust "respectable foreign bank of first magnitude", which It is "to own, control and manage these assets." Back in November 2015 interview with Deutsche Welle Poroshenko assured that the issue of trust management is already solved.
However, financial advisers, authorized by the Presidential Administration comments on this topic have to refute this information. So, managing director of ICU Makar Pasenyuk told reporters OCCRP "about the difficulties with Roshen sales due to fears of potential investors related to" very unstable political and economic situation ', and why it took to create an offshore structure to also "increase the attractiveness of the corporation Roshen" .
Declaration of income have prevented "the subtleties of the law"
Pasenyuk hastened to respond to the charges of journalists in the spirit of the traditional Kiev promises "tomorrow": "The issue of trust management is not removed from the agenda, - he explained. - The corresponding share of Roshen concern will be transferred to the trust after will be settled all legal formalities. "
Financial advisers have promised that offshore assets Poroshenko will be included in its income statement later. According to them, the president did not specify them or for 2014 minutes, not for 2015 because of the "intricacies of law." Pasenyuk OCCRP assured, that after the entry into force of the new law "all companies, where the beneficial owner is a client that will be properly declared."
According to the president's declaration in 2015 Poroshenko revenues amounted to 62.163 million hryvnia (2.371 million dollars at the current exchange rate of the National Bank of Ukraine). The magazine "Forbes Ukraine" notes that "the state of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, is estimated at $ 858 million and last year it grew by 100 million dollars." According to the magazine, Poroshenko is now ranked sixth in the ranking of "Top 100 richest people of Ukraine", up to this list into two positions.
"It would be logical to replenish the budget of Ukraine, not Panama"
"One of the commitments Poroshenko was the sale Roshen all assets, not only Russian - recalled in an interview with the newspaper VIEW president of the Center for Strategic Communications, a political scientist Dmitry Abzalov. - And, as it turned out, he currently have any assets. It was supposed to be blind trust. It is common practice: the point is that it is impossible to control (asset) to the owner. And he, as president, could not have any preferences. But according to research, Poroshenko simply hidden assets, did not remove them from the field of corruption ", - he explained.
Scheme for the blind trust had been prepared just to sell these assets, also reminded Abzalov. "It now appears that the sale will likely not planned in the medium term. In fact, it was recently demonstrated in a statement that Poroshenko assets can not be sold. This proves that the problem of Ukraine is not the Prime Minister of the segment and in the whole system as such, "- said the source.
Abzalov also stresses that man's independence policies, which has offshore structure on the external circuit, is questionable due to the fact that this area is controlled by including in Washington on financial lines. "That explains a lot, including in the behavior of Poroshenko. Many politicians in Ukraine is hampered by external financial pressure. Let me remind you that at the time was trying to Boyko to form an opposition bloc, he just froze the assets in Switzerland. The same can happen with Poroshenko. This is an important factor in terms of making important foreign policy decisions in the Ukraine ", - the expert believes.
Why Poroshenko has not handed over control in a blind trust? "This is his only safety net in the event that will change the political situation - explains Abzalov. - If he leaves political office, he is a blind trust is not particularly helpful. It implies a restriction on participation in the asset management, and in this case it could be a big risk for him, "- he said.
If entrepreneurs on economic rather than political reasons or for the protection of property, does not return the assets back, it is said that they do not particularly believe in the control structure, said Abzalov. "So, they do not particularly believe in the systems that manage themselves and, in the policies they are pursuing. Apparently, Poroshenko know something, the others they do not know, and therefore not at risk of contact with the Ukrainian jurisdiction, "- he stressed.
One of the main forces offshore - it saves on taxes, said Abzalov. Therefore, including the President of Ukraine and has there its means. "These are the funds that could go to the budget of Ukraine, if Poroshenko arranged their management companies in their country. It would have been logical to us Poroshenko replenish the budget of Ukraine, not Panama ", - he added.
Fatigue from the Ukraine and early presidential elections
On the publication of the report OCCRP reacted in Ukraine itself. For example, former Defense Minister of Ukraine Anatoly Hrytsenko said on Facebook that such frauds, "the president does not have the moral right. President of the country to avoid paying their taxes. Countries that funds are urgently needed. The country, which is in the midst of crisis and war. When all citizens are imposing additional war tax. When even levy additional tax pensioners. And he, the president, "minimize" taxes in offshore and maximizes its own profits (for the year of the war increased the state $ 100 million) due to failure to pay taxes of their country. So act huckster and redneck. President in relation to the country, its citizens, to his soldiers as immoral to behave has no right! "- Said the politician.
"Poroshenko is worth remembering: the parliamentary elections will follow presidential elections. We will not allow the president to usurp power, to deal with corruption and plunder the Ukraine ", - he warned the leader of the Radical Party, Oleg Lyashko on his page to Facebook.
MP from the "Block Petro Poroshenko," Vadim Denisenko said that "the whole of the West's rhetoric began to change dramatically," he quoted the policy portal "Economics today." "The EU and the US to ripen, to initiate early parliamentary elections (in Ukraine - ed ABF.), And then another step, and for early presidential elections with all the possible consequences for the country. Fatigue from the Ukraine - it is not tired of the corruption, how much someone wants it to file. EU perfectly coexists with dozens of corrupt regimes. Fatigue from the Ukraine - is, first and foremost, fatigue from a country whose elite do not want to do anything and live under the protection ", - concluded Denisenko.
National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), meanwhile, has refused to investigate the offshore Poroshenko. The Bureau "has no right to conduct an investigation against the current president of Ukraine," said press secretary Svetlana NABU Olifira. "There is a separate procedure of impeachment drawn in the Constitution", - she said.
Began "merge" Poroshenko
Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Shary noted in comments the newspaper VIEW, the West began to pour rapidly Poroshenko. Recent publications in leading US newspapers and the EU, including in The New Your Times, show that's about it.
"It is noteworthy that they found in these same offshore money and Western politicians, but Western media write only about Putin and Poroshenko not a word about the West partners. In short, this anecdote. But about the president of Ukraine many people write all the leading Western media. I have a feeling that it started to pour sharply, "- he said.
At the same time Ukraine's population does not react to the news about offshore Poroshenko. "Trends should ask the media, but the media in Ukraine is not - says Shary. - I open the morning newspaper Ukrainian - everything about Vladimir Putin. There is no word about the offshore Poroshenko. So I do not think that Ukraine's population somehow will react to the news about millions Poroshenko. They already know all about it, "- said Shary.
The interviewee noted that none of Ukrainian journalist was not called to the presidential administration or the press service of Poroshenko and did not ask for this offshore. "For example, the Ukrainian TV channel" Espresso "says that the Prime Minister of Iceland ran out after the issue of offshore. But they do not write about Petro Poroshenko, "- he added.
Millions of documents
On Sunday Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), based in Washington, has published 11.5 million documents with the data about the offshore accounts of current and former world leaders, said TASS. So-called "Panamanian documents» (Panama Papers) are shown on the official website of the organization. In published and laid out in the open access documents containing materials, in particular related to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Prime Minister of Iceland David Sigmundurom Gunleygsonom.
In addition, the publication contains materials on the operations of a number of Russian legal entities and individuals. The authors of the investigation state that these operations can refer to persons of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin's entourage. At the same time, the authors of the publication itself acknowledged that the president's name in Russian documents on which they rely, is never mentioned.
The documents featured Petersburg musician Sergey Roldugin, which other media believe Putin. There, he was co-owner of several companies related to the bank "Russia" entities and companies Mikhail Lesin. However, direct evidence of corrupt deals, or violations of the law on disclosure of information not provided ICIJ.