NL hunting diverted Ukraine corruption cash
The Netherlands is investigating if there are Ukrainian assets held in the Netherlands which were made via corruption or illegal businesses. If there is suspicion of that, then those assets will be seized, minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance promises in a debate in the House of Parliament.
GroenLinks filed a motion demanding Dijsselbloem take immediate action on the issue of corrupt Ukrainian money. The motion urged him not to wait any longer, to avoid the risk of that money leaking out of the Netherlands and back into Ukraine's treasure chest. According to Parliament, the Netherlands cannot be a tax- and whitewash-paradise for corrupt Ukrainian folks. Corruption money gathered by ex-president Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies, that was diverted abroad, must go back to Ukraine, GroenLinks chairman Bram van Ojik said. The European Union published the names of 18 Ukranians on Thursday, who have embezzled state funds. EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs already decided on Wednesday to freeze their assets. Ousted president Viktor Yanukovych is also among these. Also on the list are ex-minister of Internal Affairs Vitali Zakharchenko, ex-attorney general Viktor Pshonka, earlier minister of Justice Olena Lukash, ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov as well as two of Yanukovych's sons. Parliament thinks that the Netherlands should also investigate assets of Ukrainian oligarchs who don't appear on the EU list, and seize assets if necessary. The police have already received reports about possible Ukrainian corruption money that has made it into the Netherlands. Dijsselbloem could not give an exact number of suspect transactions. He did say that these transactions could be stopped if there is a trace of nefarious activity. Banks and trust offices are obligated to report any suspicious transactions. During the debate, it also seemed that MPs stand behind the European proposition to support suffering Ukrainian citizens with €11 billion. These will mainly be loans supplied under conditions. The PVV and the SP, among others, are strongly against this financial support, due to all the corruption in Ukraine. The European leaders who will gather in Brussels on Thursday for extra discussions about the crisis in Ukraine will not, according to Dijsselbloem, make any decisions about the aid package. A separate decision will be made about the moneys, through different channels such as banks that will supply the loans. Dijsselbloem insists that the aid package is no more than "an inventory of possibilities that there are." A lot of money was already available, or was already in place for Ukraine. Earlier this week, cabinet Ministers were silent on the rumors that Yanukovych's son had also funneled corrupt money into the Netherlands.