WASHINGTON, April 03, /ITAR-TASS/. Dmitry Firtash, one of the most influential Ukrainian oligarchs, was charged with bribing Indian officials to gain access to titanium mines in India, the U.S. Justice Department said in a press release on Wednesday.
Six people Firtash, a Hungarian entrepreneur, another Ukrainian citizen, an Indian politician and two businessmen from India and Sri Lanka are under investigation. U.S. prosecutors said that about 18.5 million dlrs had been handed over to Indian officials since 2006 to secure rights to mine titanium in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The mining project was expected to generate 500 mln dlrs annually from the sale of titanium, including to a company based in Chicago.
Prosecutors said Firtash had negotiated with Indian officials and ordered to pay them in exchange for preferences to secure mining licenses, and documents were falsified, on his instructions, for the money transfer.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI in Chicago.
On March 21, Firtash was released in Vienna on a 125-mln-euro bail from custody. He was held there after he was detained at the request of U.S. law enforcement authorities.
As was noted in the United States, Firtash was a major player in the sale of Russian gas to Ukraine.