Ukrainians in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has always been of interest for Ukrainian public figures as a place for registration of their assets. The Czech language is similar to Ukrainian, country is in physical proximity, it is easy to buy real estate or become a business owner. Among politicians, who at different periods registered companies in the Czech Republic, are ex-President Petro Poroshenko, People’s Deputy Serhiy Vlasenko, ex-People’s Deputies Mykhailo Kobtsev and Serhiy Katsuba, judge Victoria Dzharty, ex-Head of the Deposit Guarantee Fund Kostiantyn Vorushylin, Ihor Pukshyn, wife of ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov Liudmyla Azarova, wife of ex-Chairman of the State Agency of Forest Resources Viktor Sivets Maryna Zhuravliova, wife of ex-Prosecutor General Sviatoslav Piskun Svitlana Piskun. We have already reported about the real estate of Ukrainian officials in the Czech Republic. However, we are constantly revealing some new names. So, we have formed once more a list of Ukrainian public figures and their relatives who own assets in the Czech Republic and sometimes do not declare them or hide behind Czech firms. Ukrainian law, indeed, helps to avoid declaring real estate owned by a public official or his or her relative’s firm.
Labunskyis and Siroshes Neighbors
Two neighboring PEP-families – Labunskyis and Siroshes – have real estate in the village of Jenisov, near the resort town of Karlovy Vary (5 minutes drive by car). Mykola Sirosh is a member of the High Qualifications Commission of Judges recently dissolved by the Parliament. He is known for the court seal scandal. Public Integrity Council concluded Sirosch’s incompatibility with criteria for integrity and professional ethics. Mykola Sirosh’s wife Elena owns Elimus s.r.o. This company owns a land plot of 1,088 square meters in Jenišov. Elena Sirosh’s company has bought it back in 2007. Currently, the real estate of approximately the same area is sold at CZK 2,200 per square meter. Meaning that land plot of area similar to one owned by Sirosh’s family costs more than UAH 2.5 million or EUR 92.6 thousand. There are two land plots adjacent registered to Victor Labunsky’s Fclex s.r.o. He is the father of the Angelika Labunska, People’s Deputy from the Batkivshchina political party. Labunsky’s company acquired 1,115 sq.m and 1,107 sq.m. land plotsin 2006-2007. Currently, the approximate cost of these land plotsis UAH 2.6 million or EUR 93.2 thousand each.
Yevhen Nefiodov, father of the Head of the State Customs Service Maksym Nefiodov.
In August 2017, when Maksym Nefiodov served as the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, his father, Yevhen Nefiodov, became co-owner of the company Stroj real invest s.r.o.. The company is engaged in the lease of real estate, apartments and commercial space, as well as manufacturing, trade and providing services not listed in Annexes 1 and 3 of the Trade Licensing Act. This Annex lists 80 economic activities, from agricultural services to laundry and ironing services. Stroj real invest s.r.o. owns a Polish company NEW VENTURES SPÓŁKA Z OGRANICZONĄ ODPOWIEDZIALNOŚCIĄ. The key activity of the company is the implementation of construction projects.
Yevhen Nefiodov is also the owner of the Polish investment and financial company Erwex sp zoo. As stated on the company’s website, its activity is related to involving investment and supporting promising projects in Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Bulgaria). Erwex sp zoo was established in 2017, the key economic activity is other business and management consultancy activities. Nefiodov was also mentioned as a beneficiary of the British company West east european investments ltd. The company was engaged in non-specialized wholesale trade and financial mediation. It was established in February 2016. The company terminated operations on September 3, 2019.
Ihor Kotvitskyi, ex-People’s Deputy, close associate of Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov.
The ex-People’s Deputy Ihor Kotvitskyi has connection withthe Czech company International trading primex company s.r.o. Before April 2015, 90% of the company shares was owned by Kotvitskyi personally, another 10% was owned by Vadym Beshanov – former deputy chairman of the board of Avakov’s AKB “Bazis”, who is a partner of Kotvitskyi’s family in a number of firms. When electronic asset declarations of public officials have been launched in Ukraine, International trading primex company s.r.o. has got Svitlana Murashova instead of Kotvitskyi, she is called by the media the “sister” of the latter. Now 10% of the company is owned by Vadym Beshanov, 90% of shares belong to Cypriot Mulvoit limited, which owners are hidden in the offshore Jazmy holdings limited (British Virgin Islands). According to the Czech real estate register, International trading primex company s.r.o. owns a 308-square-meter building on Podolsky Street in the Prague’s Branik district since 2014.
International trading primex company s.r.o is registered in Prague at 403/7 Golechkova Street. This is the address of the Kinsky Garden hotel. A 565-square-meter hotel building is owned by the company Parco, spol. s.r.o., which recruits staff. The founder of Parco, spol. s.r.o. is a Czech company EXA´s Prague, s.r.o, 90% of which was owned by Svitlana Murashova until mid-2016. Now 90 % EXA´s Prague, s.r.o is owned by the above mentioned “Mulvoit limited”, the owners of which are hidden in the British Virgin Islands, while the management of EXA´s are Kharkiv businessmen Ivan Prokutin and Vadim Beshanov.
Oleksandr Tymoshenko, husband of Yulia Tymoshenko, the Head of Batkivshchyna faction in the Verkhovna Rada
Our colleagues have already written about a number of companies related to Olexander Tymoshenko. These companies have no real estate. However, one of them, Britico Product s.r.o., has interesting counterparties. First, their owners are mentioned in the Panama Papers documents. Second, these owners are securely hidden in the depths of New Zealand’s registers. So let’s describe these structures for history, maybe you will see their names in the Ukrainian court register.
Oleksandrr Tymoshenko was registered as the owner of Britico Product s.r.o. in 2012. The company is currently owned by a Czech businessman Vaclav Franz, however, Oleksandr Tymoshenko is still its head, and Yulia Tymoshenko constantly declares her husband’s income from this company within UAH 300 thousand. According to the Czech real estate register, Britico Product s.r.o.” is indebted against the Czech company MTM Capital, s.r.o in the amount of CZK 11.3 million (approximately UAH 12.3 million). According to the documents, if Britico does not pay back the money, MTM will be entitledto Bitico’s property,land and buildings on Osiková Street in the Czech city of Liberec. The sole founder of MTM Capital, s.r.o is New Zealand-based Bolmond limited. In turn, it is registered for the New Zealand Vicam (auckland) limited, which sole nominal owner is Filipina Nesita Manceau. The Miami Herald wrote about Manceau in detail several years ago. This is a housewife with 6 classes of school whose name is used around the world by those who want to hide a real owner. In 2008, Manceau was mentioned in scandal over the sale of Nokia smartphones, which instead of New Zealand appeared in Ukraine, while the money for them was transferred from a Lithuanian bank. Another scandal happened in 2009 when a plane from North Korea to Iran that made a stop in Bangkok for refuelling was detained in Thailand. According to the documents, the equipment for the oil industry was on board, whereas actually there were 35 tons of grenades, rockets and launchers.
Oleh Makhnitskyi, Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine (2014), husband of ex-CEC member Kateryna Makhnitska
Oleh Makhnitskyi’s family owns two companies in the Czech Republic. Matyja cz s.r.o company is registered directly in the name ofMakhnitsky, its key activity is real estate leasing. The wife of ex-Prosecutor General Kateryna Makhnitska, when she was a member of the CEC, forgot to mention this company in her declaration. She also did not mention it in the declaration after being dismissed. The company is registered in an 82-square-meter private house in Prague’s Petrovice district. This property is registered in the name of Oleksandra Bordian, daughter of Myhailo Bordian, partner of Oleh Makhnitskyi.
As Zaxid.net informs, Matyja cz s.r.o is Makhnitskyi’s failed attempt to enter the cigarette business. In 2015, longtime acquaints, the Bordian family, offered the ex-Prosecutor General a third of the shareholder equity of a Moldavian enterprise that was supposed to manufacture cigarettes. The agreement was reached that Makhnitskyi finances the purchase of a cigarette production line. Valery Bantosh was the third partner, who allegedly had influential relatives in the security service of the neighbouring state. Ex-Prosecutor General was part of the cigarette business, claiming to be a foreign investor. For that end, he bought Matyja cz s.r.o from Myhailo Bordian. After that, according to Makhnitskyi, he spent more than USD 600 thousand on the project, but the business has never been launched. In Makhnitskyi’s interrogation records, journalists found a funny episode when customs officers detained the equipment, and Makhnitskyi had to pay USD 80 thousand for customs clearance. In order to carry this money, the ex-Prosecutor General and his partners took USD 10,000 each on the Ukrainian territory, probably in order not to declare this sum at the border.
“Once more I appeared in a desperate situation and had to pay these costs,” Makhnitskyi noted in interrogation records. The Bordian family, however, claims that Makhnitskyi gave no money, he was presented a share in the company, but instead, the ex-Prosecutor borrowed USD 60,000 from the Bordian family. According to the Moldavian court register, the litigation between the Makhnitskys and Bordians families is still in progress. According to the Moldavian business register, as of October 21, 2019, 25% of Pipus-Grup, the company in question, his owned by Oleh Makhnitskyi (this information is missing in his wife’s declaration), 55% of the company is owned by Andriy Chornyi, 20 % is ownerd by Valery Bantash.
The owner of another company Droztym s.r.o. is the first Makhnitsky’s wife Nelia, while its heads are the son Vadym Makhnitskyi and Oleksandra Bordian. Droztym s.r.o is also engaged in real estate leasing.
Serhiy Dvorak, ex-prosecutor of the prosecutor’s office of Darnytsia district of Kyiv, son of the Head of the Kyiv city customs office Yuriy Dvorak (2015)
Serhiy Dvorak served as a prosecutor at the prosecutor’s office of Darnytsia district of Kyiv until the end of 2015. He terminated his job following Nashi Groshi’s report about his luxurious life. In recent years, he was beyond the public attention but now appeared in Prague. Through Repostorium s.r.o. founded in 2017 Dvorak owns two apartments in the Czech capital. The apartment at 2481/5 Vojenova Street in the Liben district was bought by Dvorak in 2017, and the apartment at 2945/4 Toufarova Street in the Stodulka district was purchased a year later in 2018. Traditionally, Dvorak’s business is engaged in real estate leasing.
Mykola Lambutskyi, Head of Kyivpastrans (2001-2014)
Mykola Lambutskyi was remembered as a head of Kyivpastrans because of two things. He wore Breguet Marine watch worth up to USD 15,000 and UAH 3 billion has been stolen at Kyivpastrans at the time of him being its head.
Now Lambutskyi’s family settled in the Czech Republic. Amantis cz s.r.o. that belongs to his sons Ihor and Oleh and his wife Iryna owns a three-star Amantis Hotel in the Czech Desna resort. A room at this hotel costs about UAH 2,300 or EUR 80.
Also, since 2014, Lambutskyi’s family firm Lambic line s.r.o. owns an apartment at 16 Strokanova Street in the Smikhov district of Prague. The company owns another apartment since 2008 is at 191/40 Jan Zaec Street in Prague’s Bubenets area.
Oleksiy Perevezentsev, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (until September 2019)
He did not declare the Czech company Eurobud s.r.o.. 32% of the company is owned by Perevezentsev and his relatives, 20% is owned by Anatoliy Khyzhniak, 20% is owned by Kostiantyn and Iryna Burlaka, 20% is owned by Vasyl and Leonid Bihun, 8% is owned by Maria Gamaga. The company has a wide range of economic activities from the construction and design of buildings to the manufacturing of wood products.
Andriy Amelin, Head of the Seaport Administration of Ukraine (until mid-2018)
Andriy Amelin appears in a criminal case over the damage to the state budget for more than UAH 0.5 billion. He and his brother Volodymyr own AVA Management s.r.o. since 2012. Key activities of the company are real estate leasing and manufacturing, trade and services not listed in Annexes 1 and 3 to the Trade Licensing Act.
Yuriy Braun, Director of Ukrderzhbudekspertiza branch in Zaporizhzhia region
Braun’s company Braun eu s.r.o. owns a 716-square-meter rural mansion in the village of Kamenny Uyezd located about 9 kilometers south of Ceske Budejovice and 132 km south of Prague.
Taruta Oleksandr, brother of People’s Deputy Serhiy Taruta
He owns 25% of “E-klass, s.r.o”, the company is now under liquidation. 51% of the company is registered for Daria Amelina from Kyiv, another 24% is registered for Oleksandr Yeletskih from Donetsk.
Roman Bakhmatyuk, father of politician and businessman Oleh Bakhmatiuk
He appears to be a member of the Plzeňské družstvo KTO – družstvo cooperative in the Radobyshyce district of Plzen at 55 Ke Schodům Street. Oleh Bakhmatiuk is a subject in the multi-billion criminal proceedings illegally transferred to the police by the SAPO, and the police closed these proceedings.
Oleh Sinianskyi, Head of the External Intelligence Service of Ukraine (2004-2005)
While being on the position, Siniansky appeared in a spy scandal The General of the State Security Service of Ukraine Valeriy Kravchenko stated that it was Sinianskyi and the Chairman of the Service Ihor Smeshko who gave him illegal orders to spy upon the opposition people’s deputies and government ministers abroad. Today, Sinyanskyi owns 10% in ENDURING Tech. s.r.o, another 90% isowned by Victoria Zhukova from Kyiv. The company is registered in the house owned by Vasyl Gonchar in the Lishnice village. The same person also owns 8 apartments in the historic center of Prague and a house in the Czech village of Nova Ves. From 2011 to 2014, 20% of ENDURING Tech. s.r.o belonged to Myhailo Kutsin. Chief of the General Staff – Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2014, 30% is owned by Andriy Muhataiev, the ex-Head of the State Security Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region.
Alina Stryzhak, with additional reporting by “investigace.cz”