Ukrainian Security Service Fights Crimean Titan

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian Security Service reported to the Financial Monitoring Committee the link between RSJ Erste Beteiligungs GmbH, co-founder of Krymsky Titan, and Semen Mogilevich, charged by the US authorities with money laundry. The security service asked to check the lawfulness of the company’s creation. The checks may end up with the dissolution of the contract, under which Krymsky Titan rents two mining-and-processing plants.

Titanium Producing Plant

ZAO Krymsky Titan [Crimean Titanium in Russia] was set up by state-owned Titan in 2004 and Germany-based RSJ. The company leased early 2004 Irshansky and Volnogorsky mine-and-processing plants for five years undertaking the $4 million of annual rent. Russia’s Renova started showing its interest to the two plants in June 2005. The main owner of Renova Viktor Vekselberg offered the Ukrainian authorities to set up a state Titan Ukrainy holding by uniting the mining-and-processing plants with other structures to privatize it later. Renova was determined to get a share in the holding in exchange for $525 million in investment. The Ukrainian officials are believed to have backed up the ideal but RSJ opposed the project.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko promised on Saturday to check the legal basis of the setting up of Krymsky Titan. Kommersant obtained a copy of the letter by the Ukrainian Security Service sent July 28 to the State Committee on Financial Monitoring. The letters claims that it is Cyprus-based Highrock Holding Ltd that is the real owner of Krymsky Titan and “use in its activities funds of Semen Mogilevich’s companies.” The US Federal Court found businessman Mogilevich guilty of money laundry from dealings with weapons, drugs and fraud with bonds, the Ukrainian special service emphasizes. Therefore it asks the committee on financial monitoring to check the lawfulness of the shaping of the authorized capital of Krymsky Titan. The two state agencies declined to comment the investigation yesterday, while the chairman of the board of Krymsky Titan said he had nothing to do with Semen Mogilevich.

The investigation is primarily to Renova’s advantage, since the checks may lead to the compulsory termination of the company’s contract on the rent of the two mining-and-processing plants. However, Yulia Timoshenko is unlikely to support Viktor Vekselberg given her blunt statements on Renova’s plans to purchase the Nikopolsky Ferroalloys Plant. It is more probable that she is simply trying to oust the notorious Semen Mogilevich, a man close to former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, out of the Ukrainian business.

Source: Kommersant

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