Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cozy at the top for Arbuzov

The recently-appointed 34 year old head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Serhiy Arbuzov, has refused to provide any details of the company which paid him an officially declared, eye-watering 150 million hryvnya [$18 million] in dividends and royalties in 2009.

Quite extraordinary for a civil servant in such a top job..

Arbuzov is 'close' to president Yanukovych's son Oleksandr and banker to the Yanukovych clan. The clan in recent years, has become a significant financial player, independent of other Party of Regions' oligarchs and financial-industrial groups.

In 2008 he was head of UkrBiznesBank..which looked after the money of many of the obscure companies and foundations behind president Yanukovych's infamous 'Mezhyhirya' palace.

Last month Prosecutor-General, Viktor Pshonka, also an old family friend of the Yanukovych's, claimed he would investigate the reason why, most unusually, Arbuzov does not have a personal identification code number, normally allocated to all Ukrainians at the age of 14, enabling him to carry out uncontrolled personal transactions at banks. This privilege was granted by a Donetsk court, apparently, 'for religious reasons'.

Pshonka has not yet provided an explanation... Yanukovych Sr. is his son's - VR deputy Artyem's, godfather. Last December Pshonka's brother Mykola was appointed deputy head of the High Court for Civil and Criminal Cases .

Ukraine is ever-more closely resembling one of the 'dodgy' Central Asian republics..

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