Ukrainian national telecommunications operator Ukrtelecom had been acquired by a Cyprus investor very cheaply, virtually for a penny, Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Ukrainian 24 TV channel.
Lutsenko said a Cyprus-based company had paid several hundred million hryvnias to buy Ukrtelecom.
”After that, the telecom company was pledged as collateral to attract a loan in one of the state-owned banks in Ukraine, and the funds were later siphoned off through the same Cyprus company,” Lutsenko said.
”The criminals, in fact, have taken Ukrtelecom for free,” the prosecutor general emphasised.
Lutsenko added that the Prosecutor General`s Office would immediately deal with the matter as soon as the Cyprus authorities disclosed a beneficiary of the offshore company.
As UNIAN reported earlier, in January-March 2016 Ukraine`s major fixed-line operator Ukrtelecom posted a net profit of UAH 100 million against a net loss of UAH 165.5 million in the same period of 2015.
Ukrtelecom is the largest fixed-line operator in Ukraine, and also a leader on the broadband Internet access market (more than 1.6 million subscribers). The controlling stake in the company is owned by SCM Group, which belongs to Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov.