Aggravated money laundering: indictment filed against Mykola Martynenko and a further Ukrainian national
Bern, 20.12.2019 - The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has filed an indictment with the Federal Criminal Court against the Ukrainian national and long-standing member of the Ukrainian Parliament Mykola Martynenko and a second Ukrainian national. They are accused as part of a criminal group of having laundered around € 2.8 million through the Swiss financial system.
The OAG has charged the accused with aggravated money laundering (Art. 305bis Sec. 1 in conjunction with Art. 305bis Sec. 2 let. b Swiss Criminal Code). In specific terms, the indictment alleges that, as part of a criminal group, the accused thwarted the seizure of feloniously obtained assets amounting to around € 2.8 million by using the funds held in Swiss bank accounts to make purchases and investments in Switzerland and abroad.
Mykola Martynenko is alleged to have arranged for these accounts to be opened in preparation for the money laundering offence. He first instructed his co-accused to set up an offshore company in the Republic of Panama. Various Panamanian nationals acted as directors of the company, but they immediately appointed Martynenko’s co-accused as its authorised representative. As instructed by Martynenko, he then proceeded to open bank accounts in Switzerland on behalf of the offshore company, naming Martynenko on the Form A as the beneficial owner of the assets subsequently deposited.
Assets suspected of felonious origin: prosecution in Ukraine and the Czech Republic
The assets that were obtained thereafter are suspected to have originated from offences committed in Ukraine and the Czech Republic. These alleged offences are currently the subject of criminal investigations by the Ukrainian and Czech authorities. In brief, it is suspected that commission payments were unlawfully made by SKODA JS, a Czech supplier of components for nuclear power stations. Skoda JS is believed to have paid the commission into the bank accounts previously opened in Switzerland by Mykola Martynenko’s offshore company in return for the award of contracts to supply components to NAEK ENERGOATOM, the state operator of nuclear power stations in Ukraine. Any questions relating to the criminal proceedings ongoing in Ukraine and the Czech Republic should be directed to the authorities responsible in those countries.
Cooperation with Ukraine and the Czech Republic
In criminal proceedings where the alleged predicate offences are predominantly committed abroad, the OAG is reliant on receiving mutual assistance from the foreign countries concerned. It would have been impossible to have brought the present indictment without excellent cooperation from the Ukrainian and Czech prosecution authorities. In the course of the investigation launched by the OAG in 2013, the OAG, Ukraine and the Czech Republic have all requested each other for mutual assistance. The execution of these requests for mutual assistance has been completed. In particular, since 2016 when the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) began operations and launched its own investigations, the OAG has obtained the information required to bring the present indictment through mutual assistance procedures. The OAG wishes to thank the Ukrainian and Czech prosecution authorities for their valuable assistance with this case.
As is customary, the OAG will announce the penalties that it is proposing at the main hearing before the Federal Criminal Court. With the filing of the indictment, the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona becomes responsible for dealing with enquiries from the media. The presumption of innocence applies until a legally binding judgment has been issued.
Address for enquiries
Communications Service of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, T +41 58 464 32 40, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland