Powerful Ukrainian tycoon accused of ’embezzlement’

Powerful Ukrainian Tycoon Accused Of 'Embezzlement'
Source: Video Screenshot

Billionaire businessman Igor Kolomoisky was on Thursday accused by Ukraine‘s anti-corruption watchdog of embezzling funds from a bank he co-founded, days after the powerful tycoon was detained on fraud charges.

Since Russia’s invasion last year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pushed ahead with his anti-corruption drive, equating corruption with treason and firing multiple officials accused of graft.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NACB) of Ukraine said it suspected Kolomoisky and five associates of “embezzling bank funds” totalling more than 9.2 billion Ukrainian hryvnia (almost $250 million).

“The investigation established that in January-March 2015… (Kolomoisky) developed a plan to seize funds from PrivatBank,” it said, referring to the bank he co-owned.

Kolomoisky, who once supported Zelensky, had already been detained and placed in two months of pre-trial detention last Saturday on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

Kolomoisky briefly served as governor of Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region and was once counted among the richest men in the country.

Before becoming president, Zelensky rose to fame as a comedian, acting on a television channel owned by Kolomoisky.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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