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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 04.10.2023, 23:00

Latvia's PrivatBank has been used to transfer money to Biden's son; Vejonis has participated in Zlochevsky's forum in Monaco

BC, Riga, 03.10.2019.Print version
Latvia's PrivatBank has been used to transfer money from Ukrainian gas and oil company Burisma Holdings to Rosemont Seneca, a company belonging to US Vice President Jo Biden's son Hunter Biden, currently involved in US President Donald Trump's impeachment procedure, according to leaked banks statements of Rosemont Seneca, reported LETA.

Meanwhile, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis last year attended a forum organized by Burisma Holdings owner Mykola Zlochevsky, a minister during presidency of Viktor Yanukovych.

The Hill portal reported that in a time period from spring 2014 until fall 2015, Rosemont Seneca received more than USD 166,000 a month from Burisma Holdings.

Hunter Biden was a member of Burisma Holdings supervisory council at the time his father was US Vice President, overseeing the diplomatic relations with Ukraine. Hunter took up the position at Burisma Holdings in April 2014 and left it in early 2019.

Former New York mayor, now US President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said in a Twitter post earlier that Biden's son earned millions, being in the council of one of Ukraine's most corrupted companies. He also implied that this company had laundered USD 3 mln, transferring the money from Ukraine to Latvia, then to Cyprus and the US.

Trump in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on JUly 25 repeatedly called to investigate operations of Burisma Holdings. He voiced suspicions that Biden has managed to stop investigations. This phone call has been a reason to launch an impeachment procedure against Trump.

The Finance and Capital Market Commission's (FKTK) spokeswoman Dace Jansone told LETA that the commission may not reveal details on supervision of the market players and separate transactions and may not comment on them. She reminded that as a result of FKTK problems, sanctions were imposed on PrivatBank in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

In 2015, PrivatBank was fined with EUR 2,016,830 and had to replace the bank's board. Also, individual fines were imposed on the bank's board members. In 2017, FKTK in cooperation with the FBI imposed fines on three banks, including EUR 35,575 on PrivatBank. In September 2019, PrivatBank was fined with EUR 1,019,319.

The Financial Intelligence Unit's (FID) spokeswoman Zaiga Barvida told LETA that FID is not entitled to comment on separate cases or conclusions to the public, but it is working to prevent a situation that the Latvian financial system is used for illegal purposes. 

LETA has not managed to reach PrivatBank this week to get any comments on transactions involving Burisma Holdings.

Burisma Holdings is one of the largest natural gas companies in Ukraine, founded in 2002 by Zlochevsky.

In 2010, Zlochevsky was appointed Ecology Minister in the presidency of Yanukovych, but was forced to leave Ukraine four years later when the prosecutor's office launched a number of criminal cases against him and his companies for tax evasion and money laundering. In 2014, the British authorities froze USD 23 mln in Zlochevsky's accounts. The case has been closed with payment of taxes, according to Ukrainian journal Novoye Vremya.

Zlochevky and his partners every year organize Energy Security Forum in Monaco, inviting officials and experts from western countries to it. In 2018 then Latvian president Raimonds Vejonis spoke at the forum.\

LETA has not managed to reach Vejonis or his then advisers to learn who invited Vejonis to the forum and why he chose to participate in it.

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