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Saakashvili accuses Ukrainian tycoon of illegal trafficking in Odessa

July 20, 2015, 18:28 UTC+3 ODESSA
The new Odessa region governor promised to present the evidence of money laundering, tax evasion and organization of trafficking across the border by the billionaire Igor Kolomoisky in the near future
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Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili

Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili

© Nikolai Lazarenko/Ukrainian president's press service/TASS

ODESSA, July 20. /TASS/. Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili has urged the society to do away with the bandits in the Ukrainian establishment.

"It’s time to do away with the bandits in Ukrainian politics. This implies the bandits with guns and those wearing ties who became lawmakers," he said.

Saakashvili earlier accused Ukrainian billionaire tycoon Igor Kolomoisky of organizing illegal trafficking in Odessa.

"I have a lot of evidence showing how money laundering works, how taxes are not paid, how this trafficking across the border is organized, that’s why he is anxious. He threatened me already. He knows only too well that he can neither buy nor intimidate me," Saakashvilli told the 1+1 TV channel owned by the Ukrainian oligarch. He promised to present the evidence in the near future.

The Odessa governor further stated that Ukrnafta, a Ukrainian oil and natural gas extracting company whose main shareholder was Igor Kolomoisky, had sustained losses totaling 80 billion hryvnia last year.

"Last year Ukfnafta showed a loss of 70 or 80 billion hryvnia ($3.6 billion). Which means that the state-run company that was supposed to be Ukraine’s donor has instead inflicted losses on the country’s budget. Who pays for that… apparently, pensioners," Saakashvili said.

For his part, Igor Kolomoisky noted that "after Saakashvili’s remarks about Ukrnafta’s losses the company may not pay the dividends." "I want Premier Yatsenyuk who asks us to pay the dividends to hear this. We won’t be able to pay them, because dividends are paid out of profits only," he said.

The issue will be put on the agenda of the general meeting of the shareholders on July 22. The company had to pay the dividends in spring. However, it refused to do so. The meeting is also due to discuss the replacement of the company’s CEOs loyal to Kolomoisky, the Ukrainskaya Pravda news website reports.

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