Oleg Bakhmatyuk, the owner of UkrLandFarming, one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural holdings, has appealed to Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova with a request to intervene and stop the unlawful pressure exerted by the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) on the company.
The relevant appeal has been posted on the UkrLandFarming Group of Companies' website. In this appeal, Bakhmatyuk reiterates the company's importance to the country's economy, especially during the economic crisis, since it has created 27,000 jobs, accounting for 1% of Ukraine's GDP, and has paid UAH 7.7 billion (US$281.3 million) in taxes for three years. He asks to intervene in the issue of unlawful prosecution of the company by NABU.
"It's not a secret for anyone that we have a conflict with NABU Director Artem Sytnyk, who actually destroys my company over his own ambitions driven by a desire for personal revenge," Bakhmatyuk said. "The company is being terrorized by these things, contrary to common sense, contrary to logic, since I am the only owner from among those of liquidated banks who offered debt repayments to the state, using a restructuring mechanism. The repayments are much higher than the amounts mentioned in illegally initiated cases."
UkrLandFarming's owner says NABU's director who has a direct conflict of interests in open cases is busy with common revenge and is trying to destroy the company by engaging 30% of NABU's staff, paralyzing the work of an important anti-corruption agency over his own interests. "And this happens instead of investigating real corruption since Ukrainian society has never seen any successful cases in that area," Bakhmatyuk said.
The businessman notes the company does not ask for any preferences, but seeks justice, impartial justice and the protection of state interests. "Liquidation scenarios for such companies, as the Deposit Guarantee Fund's practice shows, usually bring about 1% of the value of assets to the budget – and this is about 30 times lower than what I, as the owner of the company, offer to the state," Bakhmatyuk said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, NABU investigates cases on suspicion of misuse of the refinancing granted by the National Bank of Ukraine to VAB Bank owned by Oleg Bakhmatyuk. The National Bank itself said the funds had been spent by the bank for its intended purpose, namely for payments to bank depositors during the financial crisis that began in 2014. NABU Director Artem Sytnyk was found guilty of committing acts of corruption and included in the official register of corrupt officials, which is kept by the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP). The adviser to Bakhmatyuk's sister was the main witness against the accused in trial on corruption charges against Sytnyk.