Ukrainian billionaire detained in iconic French ski resort — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union
Former MP Konstantin Zhevago was charged with embezzlement and money laundering
French police on Wednesday arrested Ukrainian billionaire Konstantin Zhevago in the sumptuous alpine ski resort of Courchevel, at the request of kyiv. The businessman and former MP is wanted at his home in connection with a major case of money laundering and embezzlement.
Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), which first announced the arrest, said it had “work hardto detain the billionaire, after requesting help from some 38 other nations to apprehend Zhevago. The detention finally took place after “several months” of “close interaction” with the French police, gendarmerie and justice, he added.
A French court is expected to decide later Wednesday whether Zhevago will be taken into custody while kyiv prepares an extradition request, the SBI said.
In his country, the businessman is accused of having embezzled 113 million dollars from the Ukrainian Finance and Credit Bank, thus damaging the interests of the state and the bank’s customers. He also faces money laundering charges, according to law enforcement.
Ukraine had already seized Zhevago’s assets, including “shares of his enterprises worth hundreds of millions of hryvnas” and 26 properties. He was also among the businessmen whose assets were nationalized by kyiv in November.
Zhevago was the primary beneficiary of Finance and Credit Bank, one of Ukraine’s largest lenders before 2015 when its banking license was revoked. He is also the founder and majority shareholder of the Swiss commodity trading and mining company Ferrexpo, which claims to be “the third largest exporter of iron ore pellets in the world.” The company owns iron ore mines in Ukraine.
The billionaire was also a longtime Ukrainian MP. He held a seat in the country’s Verkhovna Rada for more than two decades between 1998 and 2019.
According to Forbes, Zhevago is still the fifth richest person in Ukraine, although his net worth has fallen from $2.1 billion to $1.4 billion in 2022.
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