According to Slidstvo.Info, In June 2014, after Poroshenko's inauguration, Avellum lawyers wrote the following letter to Appleby: "The matter is extremely sensitive. The client's name is Petr Poroshenko. We are working on restructuring of his confectionery business (Roshen). In order to obtain access to international markets, we’re going to establish a new holding company for the group in Luxembourg. Underneath will be a Dutch sub-holding, which will hold all operating companies. For tax purposes there will be a Cypriot entity on top of Luxco, which will be owned by offshore company (as I mentioned, BVI preferred but IoM could work as well)… it will hold the shares and receive dividends. Sale of shares at a certain moment is possible (provided there is an investor offering a good price)," the letter says.
But Appleby’s lawyers apparently decided that cooperation with Poroshenko’s corporation would be an endeavor too risky for them, so they turned down the request of representatives of the Ukrainian president.
Read alsoParadise Papers: New offshore foundation created for Naftogaz top manager to siphon currencyParadise Papers also include leaked correspondence between Appleby managers on the issue.
After that, lawyers representing Poroshenko's interests decided to ask for help in creating an offshore company in Panama's Mossack Fonseca. This company helped them create the structure they had sought, which then became the focus of a previous offshore scandal, the Panama Papers.
The journalists who took part in the investigation believe that Poroshenko's representatives wanted to create at least one offshore company for “tax purposes” rather than for transferring Roshen to a blind trust, as the Ukrainian president vowed.
"Apparently, offshore companies were created precisely to avoid taxes in case of sale or receipt of any income," the investigation claims.
According to journalists, a Netherlands-registered company continues to own Roshen, while Poroshenko himself insists that this is necessary in order to hand the corporation over to a blind trust.
Read alsoParadise Papers: Journalists reveal offshore ties of Trump's 13 friendsCommenting on the mentioned letter by Poroshenko's representatives to Appleby, a Kyiv-based lawyer Bohdan Borovyk says he believes that blind trust was not on the agenda.
"This letter does not state that the trust was the objective or some option that could have been taken into account during the creation of the structure. The word “trust” is not even mentioned here at all. It was one of the possibilities for the future. Where such a structure is created, be taken into account in the construction of this structure was a trust, that is, the word" trust "does not appear here at all [...]Do you need this entire structure in order to hand the company over to a blind trust? In my opinion, no, you don’t. You would more likely need it if you plan a sale. For optimization of the income received as a result of the sale. For the trust, I do not see a need to create all these three companies," said Borovyk.
Read alsoU.S. Commerce chief Ross kept holdings in Russian-tied firm – mediaThe journalists appealed to the President's Administration to comment on the information received, but they were advised to approach Avellum. In response to the request, the company avoided specific questions regarding their correspondence with the Isle of Man. However, they insisted that Roshen was restructured in such a manner so that all taxes be paid in Ukraine. "If, for instance, I the course of a transfer of the money obtained through the sale of Roshen corporation, the taxes were paid in Luxembourg, this would have led to a double taxation of income, decrease in the amount of tax to be paid in Ukraine and hence, an opportunity to transfer to Ukraine just a part of the income (excluding the part in taxes in Luxembourg). Such a situation would not only have been against the client’s interests, but also the state interests of Ukraine – taking into account the losses for the budget and other negative consequences."