Former head of Ukrtatnafta charged with tax evasion again
Photo: Ukrtatnafta

The Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine served a second notice of suspicion to the former acting first deputy chairman of the board of Ukrnaftogaz, who was remanded in custody in February, the ESBU, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Office of the Prosecutor General reported.

He is charged with willful tax evasion (Part 3 of Article 212 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

According to the investigation, in February 2022, Ukrtatnafta failed to pay UAH 687 million ($18.7 million) in excise tax for fuel sold, and after the start of a full-scale war, it reported to the State Tax Service the impossibility of proper tax accounting and bookkeeping due to hostilities.

Officials used the same scheme in January 2022, for which the top manager was arrested.

As part of the investigation, the state-appointed management of Ukrtatnafta reimbursed UAH 605 million ($16.5 million) for January 2022. The company will also transfer to the state the amount of excise duty not paid in February 2022.

Law enforcement agencies do not specify the name of the suspect, but it is known from the court register and the portal of the Judiciary of Ukraine that the official in question is Ruslan Lyapka, who worked for 12 years as the deputy chairman of the board of Ukrtatnafta for personnel and social affairs. In 2019-2022, he also served as the first deputy chairman of the company's board.

In January 2023, the Shevchenkivksyi District Court of Kyiv imposed a pre-trial restriction on him in the form of bail in the amount of UAH 200 million ($5.4 million), which he did not post. Because of this, he was taken into custody in February.

Ukrtatnafta is the largest oil refinery in Ukraine, located in Kremenchuk. More than 50% of Ukrtatnafta belonged to the offshore companies of Ihor Kolomoisky, Hennadiy Boholyubov and Oleksandr Yaroslavskyi. Another 43% of the plant's shares belong to Naftogaz of Ukraine.

In 2021, the company supplied almost 40% of gasoline and 14% of diesel to the Ukrainian market. The plant's design capacity is 18.6 million tons of fuel per year.

On November 7, 2022, Ukrtatnafta, along with several other enterprises, were expropriated for the duration of the martial law.