Today’s penultimate episode of this corruption expose story from PolitNavigator, penned by Alexander Rostovtsev. The allegation being that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is the actual (although hidden behind 7 veils) owner of the private shell company Arkona. Arkona is one of these fly-by-night start-ups that was put together to (illegally, according to the anti-corruptioners) obtain the contract (without bothering to go for auction) to drill for oil and gas in a small field near Poltava. I have chosen to shorten the name of the field to “Svistun” for easy-reading, since the full name is long and difficult to pronounce, even for Russians/Ukrainians.
As the shell company was put together, we learned the names of such men as Igor Mychko and Alexander Neshchotny, both former government officials in the Donetsk local administrations. Keeping in mind that in the Ukraine, as in the U.S., government service is an almost guaranteed road to wealth, due to the usual factors of contacts and influence. A bit later in the process, a man named Alexei Grebenchenko entered the picture, invested some funds and acquired 5% ownership of the shell company. Grebenchenko manages some kind of enterprise called Ukropt-kult-tovary, whose actual owner is President Poroshenko. Despite all my googling, I still can’t find exactly what this company produces, sells, distributes, or trades (?) Seems to be some kind of department store, but I’m really not sure. If you click on their company profile, you get very little. All that is known, is that President Poro is the owner and declares it in his tax returns, like the pious law-abiding man that he is.
Anyhow, on June 1 2017, Mychko and Neshchotny sold half of their shares of Arkona to an offshore company called Ashburi Universal LTD, which operates out of Belize. The owner of this Ashburi firm is a woman named Rina Ríos Rodríguez. Under her name are registered an entire bevy of foreign offshores. Rina is a Panamanian attorney and graduate of the American University in Panama. She has a bustling business registering foreign companies who don’t want to pay tax in the homeland; and she also plays some kind of role in a Panamanian lumber company. Obviously the type of woman who knows the difference between forests and trees.
According to documents supplied to journalists regarding the founding meeting of Arkona investors, Ashburi was represented by a man named Alexei Bondar, an attorney from the firm ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar. According to the ECOVIS profile: “We have been operating in Ukraine since1998 and we know the Ukrainian market and the people in it. We have long-established and continuous working relations with the Ukrainian state authorities.” Which is a subtle way of describing their role as Consigliere to Don Poroshenko.
Rostovtsev notes that Alexei Grebenchenko, owner of 5% of Arkona, used to work in ECOVIS. Another former employee (2007-2009) was Alexei Malovatsky, also at the time a member of Poroshenko’s legal team, and currently serving as a member of the High Council of Justice. Malovatsky’s wife, Natalia, earns her living as a notary public.
It was Natalia Malovatskaya who, in the second quarter of 2017, allocated to Mychko and Neshchotny 1,389,465 hryvnas apiece (just over $50K), as proportioned to their shares in the start-up capital of Arkona, when the company was sold to the Belize offshore. This information was obtained by journalists from sources within the government fiscal service. It is understood by all that Mychko/Neshchotny, still listed as Vice Presidents of Arkona, are simply figure-heads. They served their primary purpose in helping to set up the “Horns and Hoofs” type front company, and now they can retire on their pittance. Arkona, in reality, is directed, behind the curtain, by completely different wizards.
The official “Director” of Arkona is a certain Liliya Kobzar, this link says she works out of the ECOVIS office, but maybe that’s old news; according to Rostovtsev, Pani Kobzar manages a legal firm called Jus Novitas, whose owner, by sheer coincidence, is High Council member Alexei Malovatsky!
[to be continued]