gray billionaires

The law on oligarchs: how gray billionaires rob the state and remain untouched

Due to the critical situation at Darnytsya Thermal power station (TPS), Kyiv residents may be left without heat. 

Ukrainians are anxiously awaiting the heating season, which could become a record for the cost of heat and, possibly, due to its lack. In Ukraine, anxieties are turning into a panic in the assessment of energy bills. The price on exchange purchases of gas on 03.10.21 has already crossed the mark of UAH 36,568.40. Due to the rapid rise in gas prices in Europe, where last week the price of EU hubs on November futures jumped sharply to $1,500. Russia is driving. This is its response to the European Union’s delay in certifying Nord Stream-2. This is an energy hybrid war in which Russia is successfully winning. Because according to Investing, the price of coal for Darnytsya TPS on futures in the notorious Rotterdam has jumped sharply to 201.75 dollars per ton. And the residents of the Left Bank of the capital, in general, can not wait for this heat due to the critical situation at Darnytsya TPS, which provides 68% of heat consumers, which is about 350 thousand consumers. The beneficiary of which is the gray oligarch Anatoliy Shkriblyak, who produces heat and electricity for them and supplies them with hot water. There is a lot to be said about the quality of services and inflated tariffs, but this is not the case now. Impressive are the schemes by which oligarchs like Shkriblyak have been illegally enriching themselves for years, hiding profits, not paying taxes, robbing the state and Ukrainians, taking the main financial flows offshore, buying “golden passports”, villas, yachts, and European satiety.

It would seem that the Law on Oligarchs, desperately initiated by President Volodymyr Zelensky, should stop, at least frighten, unclean and greedy businessmen who not only rob us but are also a powerful source of total national corruption. Sanctions have even been imposed on some, and inspections of market monopolists have begun. But not all. And everything looks like the fight against large windmills that control the movement of all money and the actions of the Government in Ukraine. Together with the Court and our freedom.

After all, how can one explain the activity and fabulously rapid enrichment of the former people’s deputy, who was lucky enough to be not only a people’s deputy but also a member of the group of relations with China, Shkriblyak? Through Cypriot offshore companies, he is the beneficiary of the four largest thermal power plants – Euroreconstruction LLC (Daritska TPS), Cherkasy Chemical Fiber PJSC (Cherkasy TPS), TechNova LLC (Chernihiv ), Sumiteploenergo LLC (Sumy). These companies show very modest incomes, as for the standard of living of Shkriblyak.

So who is Anatoliy Shkriblyak?

Anatoliy Shkriblyak was talked about back in 2006-2007. He suddenly broke into big politics and glossy tabloid publications. Nightclubs, social gatherings, glamorous parties, and thoughtless waste of money attracted the attention of an inconspicuous man in big heavy glasses. Almost nothing is known about Shkriblyak from open sources. Wikipedia mentions him in just one sentence, who was born in 1973 in the village of Yavoriv, Kosiv district, and immediately became a Ukrainian politician, People’s Deputy of the 5th convocation. All! Nothing more. Where did a provincial man from distant Kosovo with a traditional local name (scrape a tree) get such crazy wealth?

An important role in Anatoliy Shkriblyak’s life was played by his uncle, Mykola Shkriblyak, who has been the Deputy Head of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration since 1997. In 2002, during a parliamentary race, two days before the vote, Mykola Shkriblyak was shot dead in front of his own house. At the time of his death, Mykola Shkriblyak controlled about 90 enterprises. Much of it was recorded by relatives (since he held the position of deputy governor). And here, a great family secret is still not revealed. His son, Nazar Shkriblyak (born in 1982), inherited almost nothing from his father. According to the register of owners, he owns only 2.5% in LLC “TRK 3-Studio”. That’s all. At that time, his nephew, little Anatoliy Shkriblyak, became the owner of more than 50 companies, a promising company “TechNova”, a family fund, schemes, and connections. This company took control of the Chernihiv TPS and since then began pumping money from citizens, corruption schemes, and capital accumulation of Anatoly Shkriblyak. Especially after the takeover of Darnytsia TPS, which became the only private property. It is thanks to her that Anatoliy becomes fabulously rich and is gaining momentum up to the first billion. Basic: energy, construction, and agriculture. He is included in the top ranking of the richest people in Ukraine.

Enterprises are managed to obtain illegal profits for the beneficiary and “bonuses” – for the heads of the Management Company, which cannot be found in any register. Together with the “bleaching” of illegally obtained funds through the construction of luxury housing, grand malls, palaces, and yachts near Barcelona which costs millions, and maybe billions of hryvnias.

The specificity of this business is that its participant in the state, which approves tariffs in the National Commission for Regulation of Economic Competition, promotes the development of the Energy Market. It subsidizes business. A significant part of the funds goes to compensate for the repair and reconstruction of the station, which is carried out on paper regularly, annually – by about 170 million hryvnias. No modernization of the station has taken place in the last 20 years. Only recently, the installation of two filters was announced. The so-called repair work is carried out by laying companies on paper at inflated rates. The actual owner of the TPS simply puts public money in his pocket. He also makes immoral money by purchasing and delivering coal to TPSs, research, and environmental programs. National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Utilities and local authorities, Shkriblyak created systematic schemes of embezzlement. He is accused of creating coal supply schemes from Russia and ORDLO (temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine). The essence of the business is to artificially increase the cost of coal with the help of affiliated non-resident structures, deriving “margins” through controlled companies in Ukraine and abroad.

The specified scheme provides:

  • “commodity” component, according to cargo customs declarations (CCD) it is direct delivery of coal – “the sender the exporter” (firm of the Russian Federation) – “the recipient” (TPS Ukraine) – “Person responsible for financial regulation” (Ukrainian firm or non-resident), the final price of coal corresponds to the fuel component of the tariff approved by the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Utilities for TPS.
  • persons with the transfer of “margin” to the accounts of beneficiaries and participants of the “scheme”, thus there is an overstatement of the price of coal, not controlled by law enforcement and fiscal authorities of Ukraine.

To date, law enforcement agencies have promptly obtained the basic schemes of coal and money in 2017-2019 for the above energy companies with the names and full details of all firms, officials, and responsible persons involved in criminal schemes, the actual data on the formation of coal prices in the schemes, derivation of “margins” on controlled firms, individual TBGs, statements on non-residents, accounts, invoices, Swift transfers, etc. According to them, the so-called “margin” averages about 25-30 US dollars per ton of coal, with the volume of deliveries to the above TPS in the amount of 1.4 million tons per year – the “shadow profitability” of the above schemes is about 30-50 million dollars per year. And this is only on one coal. During 2017-2019, Shkriblyak was able to legalize about 3 billion hryvnias received from the implementation of schemes. Purchase of coal in Russia and ORDLO, through Kuzbass with forged documents. 

The Security Service of Ukraine suspected Technova (Chernihiv TPS) of purchasing coal from the temporarily occupied territory and launched a pre-trial investigation. This is stated in the decision of the Desnyansky district court of Chernihiv of January 2, 2020. The court granted the SBU’s (Security Service of Ukraine) request and ordered the company to provide the special services with a certificate of origin of imported coal, a contract for its supply, and other requested documents. However, this case “hung”. This may indicate the financing of Donbas terrorism. Artificial overestimation of the cost of coal with the help of affiliated non-resident structures using “interrupted transit” and withdrawal of funds through controlled companies.

“The leak of data from criminal cases shows that every year up to $ 50 million in net profit was withdrawn from limited liability company  Eurorekonstruktsii. A. Shkriblyak contributes this money to loans of the EBRD or any other Western bank, through offshore companies and the audit essentially launders them, legalizes stolen funds through the construction of, for example, shopping malls, and thus becomes the owner of “white” assets worth hundreds of millions of euros. He is a real “gray” billionaire. Hidden in a cocoon guarded by a corrupt system does not allow this to be shown. This company deals with everything from coal and gas supplies to electricity sales, repairs worth hundreds of millions of hryvnias, and money laundering. The most important thing is that it controls all cash flows, “says our insider.

And these facts have been documented in several criminal proceedings opened during 2019-2020 in the DBR, the National Police, and the SBU.

– State Bureau of Investigation of Ukraine: №62019000000001529 dated 30.09.20019, part 5 of Art. 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (support of the case by the Department of Counterintelligence Protection of the Economy of the State Security Service of Ukraine);

– Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine of Ukraine: 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine; – these cases are closed

– Security Service of Ukraine in Chernihiv region: № 22019270000000059 dated 09.10.2019, part 1 of Art. 258-3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.- this case “hangs”.

But despite these criminal proceedings, Shkriblyak thrives on his vast estate in Spain, on an expensive huge yacht, investing tens of millions of euros in Cyprus in exchange for citizenship. Investigative and operational units had all the necessary information to make him, at least, suspicions: the presence of basic schemes (commodity and financial) of coal supply; transfer of funds with full details of all companies, information on officials and responsible persons involved in criminal activities; actual data on the formation of the value of coal in the schemes, the withdrawal of the so-called “margin” on the accounts of controlled structures and documentary materials (Cargo customs declaration, invoices, swift transfers, statements of non-residents, etc.). But large cash cases have likely convinced large and very responsible officials that it is not worth rushing with him.

Judge for yourself. The latest high-profile case of a $ 6 million bribe to Specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office prosecutor Kholodnytsky, where Shkriblyak played an important role (Olena Mazur was his special confidant and one of his business managers), has stalled. According to sources, former Deputy Interior Minister, Colonel-General Volodymyr Yevdokimov is helping him solve problems. Former employees called him “Kotovsky”. It is said that he found the keys to the offices on Bankova. Incidentally, the scandalous deputy head of the Office of President Oleg Tatarov, considers Yevdokimov his teacher. It was Investigating Judge Belous, whom he lobbied, who stopped the SBU’s investigation into the financing of terrorism through the purchase of coal from ORDLO.

Shkriblyak went abroad, and specific people must have become very rich. According to an insider – a former colonel of the SBU, the payment for services was 5 apartments in an elite house near the Bessarabian market, which is being built by the company Shkriblyak Budhouse. 1 apartment in a house on Lutheran 14-B, costs about $ 500,000. And the house itself, in the center of historic Kyiv, was built with all possible violations of construction standards and poses a threat to neighboring houses, which were cracked. And the danger of landslides could destroy the historic buildings of the capital.

Such impunity makes you feel like an elusive and at the same time honest investor. Shkriblyak is trying to whiten and increase the “gray” money for future illegal transactions. His construction company has built many shopping centers for money laundering and stealing in the energy business: Fabrika shopping mall (Kherson), Lubava shopping mall (Cherkasy) and Forum shopping mall (Lviv), Nikolsky shopping mall (Kharkiv), as well as Khortitsa Palace hotel (Zaporizhzhia). In the press, Shkriblyak loudly states that he attracts foreign investors (that is, himself as a citizen of Cyprus and Spain) to implement large-scale projects in Ukraine.

The law enforcement and judicial systems turn a blind eye to the activities of such gray oligarchs. As well as the National Security and Defense Council. Meanwhile, Shkriblyak and similar gray oligarchs are sucking billions of dollars out of the state, withdrawing money through offshore firms and under the guise of international law. Such “businessmen” destroy the state. These are the people who are killing the economy. Such people lead to the impoverishment of the people. Businesses in the country must be transparent, innovative, and progressive. It is hoped that the law on oligarchs will clean up fraudsters.

About Ambika Taylor

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