RIGA - Ukraine might claim EUR 29 million worth of assets linked to high-ranked Ukrainian officials which Riga Regional Court has arrested as proceeds from crime, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Thanks to combined efforts of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office and Latvian authorities, a Latvian court... has established that the over USD 30 million, linked to former high-ranked Ukrainian officials, are of criminal origin and has decided to seize the money," the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said.
The statement also says that the money was frozen in bank accounts at the beginning of 2015 after the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office sought legal assistance from Latvia.
"The question about returning the illegal assets to Ukraine will be dealt with on the intergovernmental level," according to the statement.
As reported, the Criminal Division of Riga Regional Court at the beginning of October overruled a decision of the Riga City Vidzeme District Court and recognized EUR 29 million worth of frozen assets to be proceeds from crime.
The money in question has been frozen in non-resident accounts at Regionala Investiciju Banka. It has been decided to pay it into the government budget.
On October 25, 2016, criminal proceedings were started over suspicions that several non-resident accounts at Regionala Investiciju Banka were used to launder large amounts of illicit money. The pre-trial investigation, which is conducted by the Economic Crimes Department (ENAP) of the State Police, is still ongoing.
The ruling of the regional court cannot be further appealed.
At the end of June 2019, Regionala Investiciju Banka was the 12th largest bank in Latvia by assets. The bank's key shareholders are SKY Investment Holding (37,4 percent), Ukrainian national Yuri Rodin (20 percent), Ukraine's Pivdennyi (13.76 percent) and Mark Bekker (10.57 percent).