Posts Tagged ‘Interpol’


The neverending Mriya/Dream (or nightmare) – Ukraine

October 10, 2016

This entry has bumped its way up the “should write a few lines about that” list due to further deterioration of the situation as of yesterday when yet more assets were illegally stripped from the Mriya Agro Holding entity that has become something of an international nightmare for the Ukrainian authorities – despite Mriya meaning “Dream” in Ukrainian.


Where to start this nefarious tale, and which names on the periphery to include or exclude is somewhat subjective.  What happens next is far from clear either.  Whatever the case, there will be many readers left with the perception that the authorities grip upon the rule of law, even with this high profile case involving numerous foreign investors, is more than a little questionable despite innumerable historical and very recent assurances by the authorities to pay special attention to the rights and circumstances surrounding those committing to FDI into Ukraine.

Perhaps most aggravating (aside from an absence of rule of law enforcement) is the fact that this incident is in agriculture – a sector that the Ukrainian authorities view as a leading economic sector to drive and sustain economic growth.

First however, a little historical glossary is required to bring a reader to the present day.

Sometime around 1992/1993 from within the leaderless and lawless rubble of post-Soviet Ukraine Mriya Agro Holdings was created by Ivan and Klaudia Guta.  It went on to become a major agricultural holding in Ukraine – among the top 5 in terms of land under management.

The Guta family, Ivan, Klaudia, Andrei and Mykola remained 80% majority share holders even after a successful IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2008.

Investors such as BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and UniCredit SpA, while bondholders include Argentem Creek Partners, CarVal Investors, DuPont Capital Management, Pioneer Investment Management and T. Rowe Price Group Inc piled in, the World Bank and EBRD provided loans for expansion.  Why not?  Mriya Agro was reporting wonderful annual results ($660 million per annum) and reportedly had a truly enormous 320,000 hectares of land under management.

Quite where the due diligence was in all of this is unclear, for Mriya Agro Holdings had within its set up a number of obvious shell companies.  There is nothing wrong with shell companies per se as far as doing business in Ukraine is concerned.  Whilst they may be synonymous with tax evasion and dodgy dealings they also provide Ukrainians with multiple jurisdictions beyond the ruinously corrupted court system that can insure property rights are far from inviolable.

What reader would have left multi-million/billion dollar businesses at the mercy of a thoroughly corrupted Ukrainian judicial system where rights for such entities historically have been temporary in the hands of a suitably selected judge?  Off-shoring is akin to insurance therefore.

Suffice to say that the entirety of the Guta family were shareholders in (at least) 5 off-shore companies, including HF Asset Management Limited which owned the 80% of Mriya and which was subsequently wound up in December 2014 when the company CFO was the infamous Alexander Cherniavsky (see below).

The summer of 2014 found Ukraine with empty cupboards following the Yanukovych regime grand theft, a war with Russia, and the inevitable crash of the Ukrainian currency.  Mriya Agro Holding could no longer service its $ denominated bonds.  (The total debt portfolio across more than 20 lenders exceeded $1.2 billion.)

By December 2014 it was clear to shareholders of the 20% of Mriya not owned by the Guta family, and also Mriya’s lenders that the Agro Holding was being systematically asset stripped with assets being illegitimately re-registered (often back dated) to other companies, whilst other assets were being stolen, hidden and/or sold off with the proceeds disappearing.  A process requiring dodgy lawyers and “black notaries”.

The Guta family and the senior management left Ukraine swiftly when awkward questions began to be asked.

The remaining international shareholders were then faced with acting swiftly not only to deal with the international creditors, but also to prevent the continuing illicit stripping of Mriya Agro Holding.

It swiftly became clear that the accounts of Mriya audited by Ernst & Young (Kyiv office) were hardly a true reflection of Mriya Agro Holdings.  Aside from the ubiquitous VAT scams associated with agriculture in Ukraine, the asset stripping, fraud, accounts manipulation and cash skimming swiftly became apparent.

Indeed the 320,000 hectares of land reportedly under management turned out to be 220,000 – prior to further nefarious reductions.  In short $ hundreds of millions have been misappropriated

The minority shareholders won control over Mryia Agro Holding in the courts, struck deals the creditors, installed new management and began proceedings in Ukraine (and other jurisdictions), leading to former senior employees being declared wanted.  (Indeed Mykola Guta the former CEO had an Interpol Red Notice raised against him, currently sitting under house arrest in Switzerland.)  Legal process is underway to reclaim about 60,000 hectares of land bought with stolen cash from Mriya under the names of other companies.

Mryia Agro Holding today operates with about 180,000 hectares of agricultural land under management with a storage capacity of about 600kt.  It is now profitable, remains one of Ukraine’s largest agro-holdings, is servicing its restructured debts, has an operating capital of over $40 million, and should head to another IPO sometime around 2018 – 2020.

Bravo the much criticised legal system and law enforcement institutions of Ukraine?

Not exactly.

There have been recent “raider” attacks involving companies in one way or another related to the old Mriya management – FID Global Ltd, Global Health FID, FID Global LLC, Dream Leasing, OOO Bud M Haulage, OOO Bud M ATP, Global Feed Ltd etc.

Over the past month the following has occurred – 21st September 2016, the Kyiv Appeal Court lifted a freezing order on 142 units of agricultural equipment worth around $3 million that was illegally removed from the company by the previous management of Mriya when they defaulted on their debt obligations in August 2014.

The Appeal Court’s decision overturned the freezing order imposed by the Pechersk District Court on  July 6th 2016 as part of the main criminal case against Mriya’s previous management and owners.  That freezing order had returned the equipment to Mriya under its current management.

On October 4th, the former management began removing the equipment from a Mriya storage site and did once again on 10th October 2016 (prompting this “should write about one day” entry).

In response to the Appeal Court’s decision, the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) has prepared a request for a fresh freezing order. However, bureaucratic inaction by NABU is preventing SAPO’s request from going to court since NABU has (so far) not registered the fact that it is leading an investigation of/within the main criminal case against the former owners and management of Mriya.

The fact that SAPO and NABU are now involved can only mean that those individuals that fall within their legislative remit are involved.  The Category A and B public figures – the political class, judiciary, senior civil servants and SOE executives.  (The $ value of criminality certainly demands an investigation by an organisation perceived as having integrity.)

Nevertheless few such within that elite class would have the influence over the Appeal Court regarding such a highly visible on-going case with international complainants acting within a very sensitive economic sector for Ukraine.

Somebody with very serious clout is behind the above mentioned rulings less than one week ago – but who?  Undoubtedly the door to the Presidential Administration will be getting kicked down (once again) by numerous diplomats connected to the nations of shareholders and creditors – and rightly so.  Thus somebody who considers themselves “untouchable” by the Presidential Administration seems most likely to be behind the ordering of the Appeal Court decision.

Is there anybody in the Mriya Agro Holdings history capable of wielding such influence on such a sensitive case?  Do any such figures stand out from the others as having previously displayed the “right experience”?

From its inception in 1992/3, along the way the Mriya Holding certainly came into contact with numerous infamous names renowned for their less than stringent adherence to matters relating to the law.

For example, during 2003/4 it was associated with Yuri Karmazin who was something of a celebrity lawyer/parliamentarian at the time associated with questionable activities – among which land regularly featured.

Mriya’s association with Mr Karmazin seemingly came via Elena Berezhnaya, an “enabler of privatisation” granted numerous permanent and surprising legal abilities having done the “legal” for Party of Regions head office in Luhansk during post-Kuchma/pre-Orange 2004/5 elections.

Ms Berezhnaya’s daughter, Irina, miraculously found a role within the Verkhovna Rada in 2002 as an “assistant adviser to Yuri Karmazin and headed the Verkhovna Rada Sub-Committee for Synchronisation of Legislation in Ukraine.

While Elena Berezhnaya stayed in Luhansk and built a dubious but exceptionally profitable legal practice, her daughter Irena became something of a star within the Verkhovna Rada.  That stardom was not founded upon her legal qualifications or wily understanding of legislature, but rather that she was the first to bring cleavage to the VR coliseum, the first to bring tits to the theatre of the absurd, the first to bring admirably presented bare bosom to the most elite and feckless business club of Ukraine.

Irina Berezhnaya

Irina Berezhnaya

In short, womanliness was first displayed through fashionable “working apparel” within the corridors and halls of the Verkhovna Rada by Irina Berezhnaya, where conservative female dress code had otherwise prevailed.

To be honest, even as a “leg man”, the 2002 (onward) daily fun-pillow displays Irena presented to parliamentarians certainly caught the eye.  However, neither association with the then power of Mr Karmazin, nor Irena’s rather splendid boobs were her only attractions.  She was also associated with a very dubious notary service (black notary service) called Astra-Service.

By 2004 the illicit practices of this dubious (black) notary service had acquired clients such as VAB Bank, Ukrsotsbank and Mriya Agro Holdings.  To be blunt, such a notary service is rather useful when it comes to acquiring agricultural land rights by hook or by crook.

In 2006 Mr Karmazin lost his parliamentary position and was duly traded in by Irena Berezhnaya for one of Ukraine’s most infamous characters, Boris Fouksman.

Mr Fouksman is long (and strongly) rumoured to have made a fortune smuggling antiques and icons out of the USSR prior to its collapse, for having been involved in gun-running and having close Russian mafia connections – notwithstanding significant influence within Party of Regions at the time.

It therefore follows that the buxom Ms Berezhnaya became a Party of Regions Deputy within the Verkhovna Rada in 2007 under such patronage (collecting numerous honours and awards along the way both within Ukraine and an Honorary Professorship from the International University of Economics Vienna), until 2014 and the aftermath of the Yanukovych regime flight whereby she lost her parliamentary mandate.

It is rumoured that the daughter of Irena Berezhnaya is fathered by Boris Fouksman – though this has not been confirmed or denied.  The godfather of the child is known – the almost universally despised Nester Shufrych.

During her parliamentary period Ms Berezhnaya became “known” for supporting “raids” on corporate entities – for example Tochmash and Sinbias Pharma among several that had dealings with VAB Bank (behind which sat Boris Fouksman).  VAB Bank being one of the first VIP clients of Ms Berezhnaya’s (black) notary service Astra-Service along with Mriya Agro Holding.

Since losing her Deputy’s immunity, she has, perhaps unsurprisingly, having facilitated so much nefarious activity within the elites, not been subjected to any repercussions as far as the rule of law is concerned.  No doubt “insurance policies” of historical transactions exist should she fall under the eye of the law.

She is however, hardly powerful enough to have caused the latest Appeal Court judgement.

What seems most prominent in the history of Mriya Agro Holdings prior to its unsavory revelations of 2014 is the very short term appointment of the infamous Alexander Cherniavsky as CFO between September to December 2014 – the time when Mriya Agro Holdings then defaulted on $1.2 billion of bonds and land and assets where illegally re-registered in alternative company names.

Mr Chernaivsky is associated with Rinat Akhmetov, Sergei Liovochkin and Artem Ershov and in particular to the dodgy dealings surrounding the purchasing of Ukrtelecom many years ago.

A reader may possibly perceive that Mr Chernaivsky was deliberately installed for a specific (and nefarious) purpose considering such a short tenure as CFO and what occurred during that time.  Questions perhaps regarding Mriya’s interaction with Rinat Akhmetov’s FUIB bank may be asked?  (Rumours also circulate regarding Alpha Bank involvement.)

Is Mr Akhmetov the “untouchable”?  If a reader believes that the occupied Donbas will return to Ukrainian control, then it will surely be stewarded by Rinat Akhmentov as the biggest employer in that region.

That said, the vast majority of illicit money channels from scams and schemes did not flee with the Yanukovych regime.  The names of the end recipients simply changed.  Some of those surrounding President Poroshenko have hardly displayed morality or integrity since he came to power.  It is well within the realms of possibility (maybe even probability) that for a large enough fee, the desired Appeal Court decision would be reached upon their nod despite serious and numerous negative implications for the Ukrainian State.

Whether a Ukrainian journalist will attempt to find out the puppeteer behind the Appeal Court ruling, or ascertain exactly who among the ruling elite is playing “roof” for the Guta family and their on-going schemes remains to be seen.  Perhaps in the next few days a name will become apparent.

In the meantime international shareholders and investors continue to get shafted in Ukraine despite favourable court rulings and the instigation of criminal proceedings, whilst criminal proceedings and court rulings thus far have put nobody in jail almost 2 years after they were instigated.


One and the same? Syria related terrorist arrest(s) Ukraine

November 14, 2015

Whilst all the big issues relating to adopting much needed legislation in Ukraine, legislation also required to enable Visa-free with the Schengen nations of the EU at some point in the future, (whenever that may be) have been grabbing the headlines, the Ukrainian State Border Service and SBU have been arresting Islamic terrorist(s).

On 11th November, the Border Service of Ukraine announced it had arrested a Russian citizen “who was possibly a member of the Islamic State terrorist group” during the check-in at Boryspil airport, booked on a flight to Istanbul.  The Ukrainian State Border Service press release stating “the Ukrainian State Border Service detained a citizen of the Russian Federation who is on the international wanted list and suspected of participation in the terrorist group ‘Islamic State’. The Interpol National Bureau for Ukraine was informed about the detention of the Russian citizen.”

On 13th November the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) also released a statement, “The citizen of one of the former USSR republics took part in the Syrian armed conflict in 2013 – 2014. The combatant became head of a separate Jamaat of the international terrorist organization ‘Al-Nusra Front’ in 2015.”


It seems highly unlikely that these two statements would relate to two separate arrests only 48 hours apart for wanted Islamic terrorists.  It is to be expected that the SBU press statement would be far more accurate in identifying the terrorist organisation involved, and less specific regarding the nationality of the wanted terrorist, than the Ukrainian Border Service which was more specific about the nationality of the wanted terrorist and less specific about the Islamic terrorist organisation.

If these statements relate to the same arrest, the it would appear that a Russian national circulated as wanted by Interpol, and who took part in the Syrian armed conflict during 2013-14, becoming head of a separate Jamaat of the Al Nusra Front in 2015, was arrested at Boryspil airport attempting to board a flight from Kyiv to Istanbul.

Since that arrest, Kyiv’s Shevchenko District Court has remanded in custody this individual pending extradition to whichever nation circulated this Russian citizen as wanted – and which nation that is, at the time of writing, is not public knowledge.

Clearly there are questions to be asked as to how this Russian citizen  arrived in Ukraine having not only fought, but headed a Jamaat of the Al Nursa Front?  How long has this individual been in Ukraine?  How did they enter?  Were they wanted when they entered, or circulated as wanted after they entered therefore legitimately?  Is Ukraine simply an entry and egress point, and if so where else did this individual go?  Why did this individual leave Syria?  Who did they meet either in Ukraine, or elsewhere?  For what purpose?  Was Istanbul a safer point of entry than elsewhere in MENA?  The most convenient route, or route with planned safe-passage back to Syria?  Was a return to Syria the purpose of the trip to Istanbul?  Was this individual traveling on legitimate or false documents?  Mobile phone?  Computer?  What bank cards/details in their possession?  Where and when used?  How much of a picture can be gleaned of time spent in Ukraine – and with whom if there is CCTV in locations where any bank card use occurred?

One must expect that the SBU has asked all these questions (and many more) of this individual during the period between the first mention of an arrest on 11th November, and the remanding in custody of this individual, pending extradition, on 13th November.  Between now and any extradition, no doubt more questions will want to be put to this individual – and not only by the Ukrainians – prior to delivery of the wanted to the country requesting extradition.

Are all the answers to the questions above (and many more) already known?  Was the arrest at  Boryspil airport by the Ukrainian State Border Services the conclusion, rather than beginning, of SBU engagement with this individual?

Perhaps rightly, not a headlining incident in light of recent events within the legislative world of the Verkovna Rada, and also the notable up-tick in the continuing war (no fig-leaf “shaky ceasefire rhetoric) in eastern Ukraine – but nevertheless it is an incident that will catch the eye of some readers of this blog.


Interpol Red Notices and reform Red Flags – Ukraine

January 13, 2015

Yesterday saw Interpol add several Ukrainians of the former regime to those with Red Notices placed upon them – they included former President Yanukovych and former Prime Minister Azarov.

What this means is Interpol informs its member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority.  A Red Notice seeks the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action.  However, it is not an international arrest warrant and Interpol cannot compel any member country to arrest the subject of a Red Notice.

In short, whilst everybody knows the vast majority of the former regime currently wanted by Ukraine is now very cosily holed up in Russia, neither Ukraine nor Interpol can make Russia arrest those subject to a Red Notice, let alone extradite them.  The system is dependent upon the goodwill and cooperation of its members, and therefore there is next to no chance Russia will do anything with regards to the Red Notices issued.

Indeed, considering applications have long since been submitted to Russia for arrest and extradition for 24 of the former Ukrainian regime – Yanukovych VF, N. Azarov, Klyuyev AP, Pshonka VP, Yakimenko AG, Zaharchenko In .YU., Ratashnyuka VI, Zinoviev PI, Shulyak SM, Koryak VV, Fedchuk PM, Yanukovych OV, Stavisky EA, Kurchenko SV ., SG Arbuzov, Klimenko AV, Prysyazhnyuk MV, Kuzmina RR, Tsarev OA Kolobov Yu, Ignatov AP Bogatyreva RV, Dzekon GB, Dinnik OV – under the longstanding CIS agreement regarding wanted criminals to no avail, there is no reason to believe Interpol Red Notices will cause any change to the Kremlin offering sanctuary to these individuals.

What sort of signal would it send to currently sitting Kremlin stooges/puppets in positions of power around the globe, if it became known the Kremlin will eventually give them up?  A guarantee of inviolable sanctuary for carrying out Kremlin bidding is a requirement for such individuals.  The Kremlin must be seen to look after its own, long after they cease to be useful and have taken sanctuary – recruitment becomes much harder should it fail to do so.

There is, perhaps, some benefit in Ukraine withdrawing from this particular CIS agreement and striking bilateral agreements with the CIS nations individually, looking to the future.

Whatever the case, any expectations relating to the Kremlin actioning the newly issued Interpol Red Notices will lead to disappointment.  Viktor and Alexander Yanukovych, Mykola Azarov, Raisa Bagatyreva, and Messrs Kolobov and Dzekon, all in Russia and subject to Red Notices, have little to fear.  Neither do Messrs Stavitskiy, Kurchenko , Arbuzov, Klimenko, Ignatov, or Dinnik etc.

That the vast majority now be trapped in Russia with their ill-gotten gains for fear of arrest externally, is perhaps the only comfort that can be taken – That and the fact, being trapped in Russia with its evermore internally carnivorous nature amongst the very rich/elite, infers that sooner or later, the Russian system will bleed these nefarious Ukrainians of much of their wealth.

So much for Red Notices – now to Red Flags of the democratic, reformation kind.

In yesterday’s entry when attempting to plant a few benchmarking pegs into the reformation ground to measure the genuine will of the current RADA for reform, Bill 1357 relating to the creation on a national public broadcaster, was one such peg.

This Bill is going to struggle.

Within 8 hours of the blog having selected that particular Bill as a benchmark, it has become apparent that at an internal meeting of the Block Poroshenko camp, it has decided not to support the idea of a national public broadcaster – something quite incredulous to Block Poroshenko MPs such as Sergie Leshenko, who took to Facebook to air his frustrations:

“Такие дни, как сегодня, заставляют меня терять веру в человечество. Фракция БПП решила не поддерживать закон об общественном телевидении, внесенный всем составом комитета Верховной Рады по свободе слова во главе с Вікторія Сюмар. Ключевая реформа из списка рекомендаций ЕС блокируется из-за нежелания депутатов расстаться с рупорами пропаганды. Давно не слышал таких манипуляций! Мажоритарщики привыкли рассматривать областные телекомпании как девок по вызову, которых они могут использовать за скромное вознаграждение или просто теплое слово. В итоге, БПП создает проблемы президенту на ровном месте. Если надо, мы дойдем до МВФ и будем настаивать, чтобы создание общественного ТВ включили в список требований к Украине для получения финансовой помощи. Но зачем самим себе ставить такую подножку?! Зачем?!?!?!”

Without the support of Block Poroshenko it seems highly unlikely to gather sufficient votes within the RADA.  It is a decision that is certainly not going to sit well with many of the Europeans who are expected by Ukraine to finance democratic and economic reforms, that so far have been long on rhetoric and almost entirely absent on delivery.

A day of criminal Red Notices and democratic reformation red flags.


Kremlin tries to place Kolomoisky and Avakov upon Interpol wanted list?

June 23, 2014

Yesterday, The Kremlin claims to have put oligarch and current (but not for much longer) Dnepropetrovsk Governor Ihor Kolomoisky and Acting Defence Minister Arsen Avakov on the Interpol wanted list – being accused of organised crime, murder, the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare, the obstruction of professional activities of journalists, and abduction – contrary to Russian Criminal Code Articles 33, 126, 144, 205 and 356.

Article 33. Types of Accomplices of a Crime
1.  In addition to the perpetrator, organisers, instigators, and accessories shall be deemed accomplices.
2.  A person who has actually committed a crime or who directly participated in its commission together with other persons (co-perpetrators), and also a person who has committed a crime by using other persons who are not subject to criminal liability by reason of age, insanity, or other circumstances provided for by this Code, shall be deemed to be a perpetrator.
3.   A person who has organised the commission of a crime or has directed its
commission, and also a person who has created an organised group or a criminal community (criminal organisation) or has guided them, shall be deemed an organiser.
4.  A person who has abetted another person in committing a crime by persuasion, bribery, threat, or by any other method shall be deemed an instigator.
 5.  A person who has assisted in the commission of a crime by advice, instructions on committing the crime, or removal of obstacles to it, and also a person who has promised beforehand to conceal the criminal, means and instruments of commission of the crime, traces of the crime, or objects obtained criminally, and equally a person who has promised beforehand to acquire such objects, shall be deemed to be an accessory.

Article 126. Abduction
1. Abduction – shall be punishable by compulsory labour for a term of up to five years or by deprivation of liberty for the same term.
2. The same act committed:
a) by a group of persons by previous concert;
b) abolished
c) with the use of violence with danger to human life and health, or a threat to apply such
d) with the use of weapons or objects used as weapons;
e) against an obvious juvenile;
f) against a woman who is in a state of pregnancy, which is evident to the culprit;
g) against two or more persons;
h) out of mercenary motives, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of five to twelve years with
restriction of liberty for a term up to two years or without such.
3.   Deeds stipulated by the first and second parts of this Article, if they:
a) have been committed by an organised group;
b) abolished
c) have entailed by negligence the death of the victim or any other grave consequences,
-Shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of six to fifteen years with restriction of liberty for a term up to two years or without such. Note: A person who has set an abducted person free voluntarily shall be released from criminal liability, unless his actions contain a different corpus delicti.

Article 144. Obstruction of the Lawful Professional Activity of Journalists
1.  Obstruction of the lawful professional activity of journalists by compelling them to give out information or to refuse to give out it – shall be punishable with a fine in the amount of up to 80 thousand roubles, or in the amount of the wage or salary, or any other income of the convicted person for a period of up to six months, or by compulsory works for a term of up to 360 hours, or by corrective labour for a term of up to one year.
2.   The same act committed by a person through his official position,
shall be punishable with a fine in an amount of 100 thousand to 300 thousand roubles or in the amount of a wage/salary or any other income of the convicted person for a period of one year to two years, or by obligatory labour for a term of up to four hundred and eighty hours, or by corrective labour for a term of up to two years, or by compulsory labour for a term of up to two years, or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to two years with deprivation of the right to hold specified offices or to engage in specified activities for a term of up to three years or without such.
3.   The deeds provided for by Parts One or Two of this article accompanied by violence with respect to a journalist, or close relatives thereof, or by damage or destruction of their property, as well as by a threat of using such violence, – shall be punishable by compulsory labour for a term up to five years or by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to six years with deprivation of the right to hold specified offices or to engage in specified activities for a term of up to three years or without such.

Article 205. Act of Terrorism
1.   The carrying out of an explosion, arson or other actions intimidating the population, and creating the threat of human death, of infliction of significant property damage or the onset of other grave consequences, for the purpose of influencing the taking of a decision by authorities or international organisations, and also the threat of commission of the said actions for the same purposes –
shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment of eight to fifteen years.
2.   The same actions:
a) committed by a group of persons in preliminary conclusion or by an organised group;
b) which have, by negligence, entailed the death of a person;
c) which have entailed the causing of considerable property damage or the ensuing of other grave consequences –
shall be punishable with deprivation of freedom for a term of ten to twenty years and with restriction of liberty for a term of from one year to two years.
3.   Acts stipulated by Parts one or two of this Article if they:
a) entail encroachment on installations of the use of atomic energy or with the use of nuclear materials or of sources of radioactive radiation or venomous, poisonous, toxic or hazardous chemical or biological substances;
b) have entailed intentional causing of death to a person – shall be punishable with deprivation of freedom for a term of fifteen to twenty years with restriction of liberty for a term of from one year to two years or with deprivation of freedom for life.
Note: A person who has taken part in the preparation of a terrorist act shall be released from criminal liability if he facilitated the prevention of the terrorist act by timely warning governmental bodies, or by any other method, unless the actions of this person contain a different corpus delicti.
See Federal Law No. 35-FZ of March 6, 2006 on Counteraction against Terrorism
Article 205.1. Contributing to Terrorist Activity
1.   The soliciting, recruiting or other involvement of a person for committing any of the crimes envisaged by Articles 205, 206, 208, 211, 277, 278, 279 and 360 of the present Code, the arming or training of a person for the purpose of committing any of the said crimes, and equally the financing of terrorism –
shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to ten years with a fine in the amount up to five hundred thousand roubles or in an amount of a wage or other income of the convicted person for a period up to three years or without such.
2.   The same acts committed by a person through the abuse of his/her office –
shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment from eight to fifteen years with a fine in the amount of five hundred thousand to one million roubles or in the amount of a wage or other income of the convicted person for a period of three to five years or without such.
3.   Accessory in making the crime provided for by Article 205 of this Code -shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of eight to twenty years.
 Notes 1. In the present Code “the financing of terrorism” means the provision or raising of funds or the provision of financial services in the knowledge of their being intended for financing an organisation, for preparing or committing at least one of the crimes envisaged by Articles 205, 205.1, 205.2, 206, 208, 211, 220, 221, 277, 278, 279 and 360 of the present Code or for supporting an organised group, illegal armed formation, criminal community (criminal organisation) formed or being formed to commit any of the said crimes.

1.1.  – Accessory in this article means willful assistance to making a crime by way of advising, giving instructions, providing information, means or tools for making the crime or removal of obstacles for making it, as well as a promise to hide a criminal, means or tools for making the crime, traces of the crime or articles obtained in a criminal way, as well as a promise to acquire or sell such articles.
2.  A person that has committed a crime set out in the present article shall be relieved from criminal liability if by a timely notice to authorities or otherwise the person assisted in the prevention or stopping the crime financed and/or contributed to by the person, unless the
person’s actions contain another corpus delicti.
Article 205.2. Public Calls for Committing of Terrorist Activity or Public Justification of Terrorism
1.   Public calls for the commission of terrorist activity or public justification of terrorism –
Shall be punishable with a fine of up to five hundred thousand roubles or in the amount of a wage or other income of the convicted person for the period up to three years, or with compulsory labour for a term of up to four years, or deprivation of liberty for a term of two to five years.
2.   The same acts committed through the use of the mass media – shall be punishable with a fine of three hundred thousand roubles to one million roubles or in the amount of the convict’s wage or other income thereof for the period of three to five years, or with compulsory labour for a term of up to five years with deprivation of the right to hold specific offices or engage in specified activities for a term of up to five years or without such, or deprivation of liberty for a term up to seven years with prohibition from certain offices/positions or from pursuance of a certain activity for a term up to five years.
Note. In the present article “the public justification of terrorism” means a public statement on the recognition of the ideology or practices of terrorism as correct, and in need of support and a following.

Article 356. Use of Banned Means and Methods of Warfare
1.   Cruel treatment of prisoners of war or civilians, deportation of civilian populations, plunder of national property in occupied territories, and use in a military conflict of means and methods of warfare, banned by an international treaty of the Russian Federation, Shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to 20 years.
2.   Use of weapons of mass destruction, banned by an international treaty of the Russian
Federation, Shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of 10 to 20 years.


Putting “Russia” in the “Wanted by” search facility on the Interpol website, thus far does not show the pair as wanted – at least on the “public search” – whether they appear on the listings not available to the public is a different matter.

If readers are wondering about jurisdiction – Article 12.3 of the Russian Criminal Code would seem to try to cover it – depending upon how you would define “the interests of the Russian Federation”:

Foreign nationals and stateless persons who do not reside permanently in the Russian Federation and who have committed crimes outside the boundaries of the Russian Federation shall be brought to criminal liability under this Code in cases where the crimes run against the interests of the Russian Federation or a citizen of the Russian Federation or a stateless person permanently residing in the Russian Federation, and also in the cases provided for by international agreements of the Russian Federation, and unless the foreign citizens and stateless persons not residing permanently in the Russian Federation have been convicted in a foreign state and are brought to criminal liability on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Nevertheless, if the Interpol red notices are ever actually placed on Messrs Kolomoisky and Avakov – which seems doubtful – there is next to zero chance of any extradition to the Russian Federation considering the weaknesses of the jurisdictional argument.  (Notwithstanding the Kremlin’s inability to action Interpol red notices for those wanted and taking refuge in the Russian Federation.)

This entire action being simply another shrill note in the cacophony of Kremlin noise that like so much of this chorus, is ultimately meaningless.



TRP/IM1 Visa Changes – Interpol

June 8, 2011

Well, in a statement attributed to PwC by the BBCU who are very careful about to whom they attribute quotes, quite rightly, we have this relating to Temporary Residence Permits/IM1 Visas:

The Ukrainian immigration authorities have implemented compulsory Interpol checks within the procedure of issuing temporary residence permits (TRP). This increases the duration of the initial procedure to five working days.
At this stage, there is no requirement to perform the same check while prolonging a TRP.
There is currently no official legislation regarding the procedure for obtaining/prolonging Ukrainian temporary residence permits. Therefore, some additional documents might be requested during the application procedure by different immigration authorities (e.g. the procedures and documents are different at the Kyiv and Kyiv Region immigration authorities).
Taking into account the continual changes in the list of required documents, applicants should be prepared to provide additional supporting/confirmation documents and information and allow sufficient time in the process to allow for such additional requests.

NOTE: The Kyiv City immigration authority has been audited by the Prosecutor’s office for the last several weeks and we are aware that documents related to the registration of a number of foreign nationals in Ukraine have been seized. The audit has also resulted in some staff changes, including the appointment of the new acting Head of the Kyiv City immigration authority.

Of course, no big deal, to introduce an Interpol check done for the IM1 Visa/ TRP (however you want to refer to it), it is part of the process for the IM2/Permanent Residency process already.  Thus on the face of it just seems that Ukraine is trying to insure no internationally wanted villains get to hide in Ukraine for the year the IM1 Visa is valid for (or for good in the case of IM2).

What is more interesting is that the PGOs office has been auditing the Kyiv City Immigration Authority for the past few weeks, seized documents relating to some foreigners and replaced several of the staff.  Unsurprisingly the boss’ head has also rolled, as one suspects that there will be a number of necessary documents “missing” or “suspect as to their authenticity” for some foreigners who are quite simply unable to get (or wished to circumvent) the complete list of documents for an appropriate “administrative fee”.

That is not to say the “administrative fee” went to the boss whose head has rolled.  It may never have reached them.  It is though their responsibility to insure that all is as it should be.

One wonders how these thing were not picked up in EU audits.  For certain Odessa is subject to EU audits of the Odessa City Immigration Authority.  I know, as last time I was there, the chap in charge (who is a friend)  was undergoing the audit at the time I was sorting out IM2 documentation for an American gentleman I know.

Apparently, according to the Odessa Chief, Odessa is audited on average once every 6 months by the EU when it comes to foreigners and related documentation.  Sometimes he will get a call in the morning stating the EU people will arrive in the afternoon and other times he gets no warning at all.  True or not, I have no idea, but I have no reason to doubt him.

Was an EU audit responsible for the PGO action in the Kyiv City Immigration Authority?  Was it the result of a police bribery sting?  (They happen all the time in Odessa as well).  It seems unlikely that it is politically motivated decapitation at the Kyiv City Immigration Authority for internal motives when it comes to using foreigners as a tool, although you never know I suppose.

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