Ukrainian billionaire and PrivatBank founder Igor Kolomoisky, a key supporter of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was arrested in a massive fraud investigation. Over the weekend, authorities arrested the powerful oligarch on an array of fraud and money laundering charges.
A Saturday statement from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Kolomoisky had allegedly attempted to launder 500 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($13.5 million) by “transferring it abroad while using the infrastructure of banking institutions controlled by him.”
Corrupt Billionaire Behind Zelensky's Rise To Fame & Power Arrested https://t.co/Opx1RMNHGf
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 5, 2023
A Kyiv court ordered Kolomoisky to 60 days in pre-trial detention while the investigation against him is underway. His bail has been set at an outstanding $14 million.
According to CNN, the U.S. State Department has previously accused Kolomoisky of using his “political influence and power for personal benefit.” What’s worth questioning is the interesting timing between Kolomoisky’s arrest and the removal of Zelenskyy’s defense minister – both having occurred this past weekend.
Ukraine is so corrupt the USA just made them fire their DEFENSE MINISTER for stealing.
All the untold thousands you’ve paid the IRS over your lifetime of hard work is equal to what they piss away on coke and whores in a night.
— Scott Horton (@scotthortonshow) September 5, 2023
“This week, parliament will be asked to make a personnel decision … I have decided to replace the minister of defense of Ukraine. Oleksii Reznikov has gone through more than 550 days of full-scale war,” Zelenskyy said over the weekend.
Kolomoisky is the founder of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s biggest financial institution, taken into state ownership in 2016 after officials discovered $5 billion in missing assets from the company.
He is among five of the richest Ukrainian citizens, with a fortune estimated at $1.7 billion. Kolomoisky was also a key supporter in President Zelenskyy’s 2019 presidential campaign.
In March 2021, the U.S. State Department formally barred Kolomoisky as well as his wife and children from being allowed to enter the United States. At the time, Biden Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Kolomoisky of corrupt practices, such as using his former position as governor of the Dnipropetrovsk province for personal gain.
Blinken also drew attention to Kolomoisky’s alleged “ongoing efforts to undermine Ukraine’s democratic processes and institutions, which pose a serious threat to its future.” Kolomoisky had been accused of taking money stolen from Ukrainian assets and laundering it through American properties.
Kolomoisky was also caught up in the 2019 Zelensky-related scandal and eventual impeachment of President Donald Trump, brought on by allegations that Trump sought information from the Ukrainian president on his 2020 election rival Joe Biden. In 2019, Kolomoisky had told media outlets in Ukraine that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, business associates of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, had paid him a visit asking to set up a meeting between him and Giuliani, presumably for dirt on Biden.