Latvian Citizens Involved In Money Laundering Ring In Ukraine

RIGA, Latvia -- An organized crime group has been uncovered in Ukraine. Its members, Latvian citizens, were laundering money through multi-million public procurements.

However, they still have not been taken into custody and no charges have been pressed against them.

The TV3 broadcast "Neka personiga" reports that panic has spread among the high-ranking Ukrainian officials, because the influential energy and oil minister must now explain why the state company Cernomornaftogaz spent USD 400 million on an oil rig that does not cost more than USD 248 million, informs LETA.

The purchase of the rig was conducted via a fixed tender.

Two offshore companies, headed by Latvian citizens Stanislavs Gorins and Eriks Vanagals, offered the rig at exorbitant prices.

Vanagels is connected with the company Stabu 58, which belongs to former security service employees.

The company used to earn money by storage of cars seized from intoxicated drivers.

The Ukrainian press informs that the money laundering scheme included not only 71-year-old Vanagel, but also his 44-year-old son.

"Neka personiga" met with Gorins at his office in Riga.

The Insurance broker claims that he is not familiar with Vanagels and has no idea who is using his signature on the offshore companies' documents.

Even though it is still not clear whether these persons are capable of implementing such a large-scale money laundering affair, "Business New Europe" reporters have revealed that there are links between Gorins and Vanagels, and both Latvians also had other successful deals in Ukraine.

Source: The Baltic Course