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PGO set to probe wealthy deputies for taxes

MPs that showed more than 100 thousand dollars are in for tax checks.

PGO set to probe wealthy deputies for taxes
Photo: Photo: Max Trebukhov

Prosecutor General's Office will check whether MPs who have declared owning more than 100 thousand dollars in cash have paid the taxes, Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko told a briefing on 1 November.

"PGO will ask State Fiscal Service to provide information on paid or unpaid taxes. The non-payment will indicate the illegality of these revenues. Thus, people's deputies can fall under the scope of article 212 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine - tax evasion," PGO quoted chief prosecutor as saying.

"If we a looking at evasion on a significant scale from 665 thousand hryvnya up, it is a minor offense and provided for a limitation period of two years. If it is more than 1 million 995 thousand hryvnya, it is a medium-size crime, the limitation period is 2 years. If the evasion is gross in excess of 3 million 325 thousand hryvnya, it is a serious crime, with the limitation period of 10 years. Based on the size of tax evasion, perpetrators can get punished by 2 to 15 years in prison," he added.

"Further investigation of these possible cases can spell the article 209 of the Criminal Code - the laundering of funds obtained by criminal means," said the prosecutor general.

In addition, the PGO will check the payment of taxes by those who presented valuable gifts to people's deputies.

"Another important item in the declaration are gifts. Many MPs have generous and wealthy donors It is not forbidden by law, however, the law provides for the opportunity to check whether donors were in the capacity to give, for example, half a million dollars to two brother deputies. We will ask the State Financial Service to check the payment of taxes by donors that are specified in the declarations. If they have paid taxes, which indicates their financial capacity to make such gifts, it's okay. If not, were are looking at the same articles: tax evasion and money laundering," Lutsenko said.

Prosecutors will also examine bank deposits by people's deputies and other declarants.

"The State Service for Financial Monitoring is responsible for checking any deposits of more than 150 thousand hryvnya. As you can see, the majority of people's deputies have deposits that exceed this amount, so financial monitoring informs us that [deposited] funds are not legal, we will act under articles 212 (tax evasion), and 209 9 (the laundering of funds obtained by criminal means)," warned Lutsenko.

The aggregate amount of funds declared the people's deputies totalled 12.3bn hryvnya.

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