According to German media, Zelensky had secret deals with which he avoided paying taxes and migrated his business abroad.
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Vladimir Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has come under scrutiny for his “secret deals” after German tabloid Die Welt published an extract from a new book that claims the leader of a country may have avoided paying taxes at home.
Parts of “Zelensky: A Biography” that discuss suspected corruption involving the Ukrainian president were quoted in the paper.
According to the report, Zelensky was discovered to have offshore accounts in Cyprus in 2019. Slidstvo.info’s investigation also found that Zelensky owns companies in the British Virgin Islands and Belize, including the “previously unknown” Maltex Multicapital Corp., which owns $7.5 million worth of apartments in central London.
Igor Kolomoysky, a Ukrainian oligarch, is also said to have given the corporation a total of $40 million since 2012. Shortly before the 2019 presidential election, which he went on to win, Zelensky reportedly transferred his ownership in this company to a close friend.
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Investigative journalists in Ukraine conjectured at the time that Zelensky may have used the system to evade taxes at home or that he took part in money laundering for Kolomoysky, while it was unclear what the motive behind the scheme was.
A documentary titled “Offshore 95” about Zelensky’s alleged shady operations that were allegedly disclosed in the Pandora Papers was abruptly canceled in Kiev last October, according to the excerpt. According to the extract, which quoted Ukrainian media, the manager of the theatre had reportedly received a call from the SBU, Ukraine’s security department. The screening didn’t happen until later in the day and only because of a backlash from the public, it claimed.
Zelensky’s office responded to Slidstvo.info’s inquiries in October 2021 after first refusing, saying that during the “Yanukovich times,” a reference to former President Viktor Yanukovich, “everyone migrated their business abroad, notably in the TV industry.” In addition, Zelensky implied that the tax authorities never discovered any irregularities despite looking into his dealings “almost every day” during the time. He also fiercely denied any involvement in money laundering, but avoided being asked if he had ever paid all taxes that were due.
However, it seems that the Slidstvo.info journalist was dissatisfied with the president’s response and indicated the next day that Zelensky does not “trust the country in” because of the existence of this offshore corporation.
“You want to conceal something, and you have a reason for that,” she said.
The National Agency on Corruption Prevention of Ukraine declared that it had investigated Zelensky’s business activities on October 27 and had not discovered any criminal activity, according to the book.