No doubt the whole affair was done by “independent investigators” working hand in hand with the U.S. government.
Note that Pandora Papers don’t mention a single U.S. politician. Is this because there is no corruption in the United States?
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his partners in comedy production owned a network of offshore companies related to their business based in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize.
- Zelensky’s current chief aide, Serhiy Shefir, as well as the head of the country’s Security Service, were part of the offshore network.
- Offshore companies were used by Shefir and another business partner to buy pricey London real estate.
- Around the time of his 2019 election, Zelensky handed his shares in a key offshore company over to Shefir, but the two appear to have made an arrangement for Zelensky’s family to continue receiving money from the offshore.
In a case of life imitating art, Zelensky ended up winning the real-world Ukrainian presidency just three-and-a-half years after the show’s launch, with more than 73 percent of the vote.
Zelensky capitalized on widespread public anger at corruption, but his 2019 campaign was dogged by doubts over his anti-graft bona fides, given that his campaign was boosted by media belonging to Kolomoisky — who is accused of stealing US$5.5 billion from his own bank and funneling it offshore in concert with his partner, Hennadiy Boholiubov.
In the heat of the campaign, a political ally of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko published a chart on Facebook purporting to show that Zelensky and his television production partners were beneficiaries of a web of offshore firms that allegedly received $41 million in funds from Kolomoisky’s Privatbank.
That ally, Volodymyr Ariev, didn’t provide evidence, and his accusations have never been proven. But the Pandora Papers show that at least some of the details in this alleged scheme correspond to reality. The leaked documents show information on 10 companies in the network that match structures detailed in Ariev’s chart.
The new documents show that part of the network was managed with help from Fidelity Corporate Services, an offshore consultancy that was one of 14 firms whose documents make up part of the Pandora Papers leak. The documents show that Zelensky and his partners used companies based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Belize, and Cyprus.
Two of Zelensky’s associates in the offshore network, who were also part of his TV production company, now hold powerful positions. Serhiy Shefir is Zelensky’s top presidential aide, while Ivan Bakanov heads the Security Service of Ukraine.
These powerful positions also come with risks. Shefir narrowly escaped an apparent assassination attempt when his car was fired on outside Kyiv on September 22. He was unharmed, but his driver was wounded.
Zelensky has repeatedly pledged to rein in oligarchs. The day after the attack on Shefir, the country’s parliament passed a bill that would create a register of oligarchs and bar them from financing political parties or taking part in privatizations. Zelensky said that the attempt on Shefir’s life will receive a strong response and will not influence his fight against vested interests.