Ukrainian oligarch charged in multimillion-dollar gas trading scheme
Photo via EPA

Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash and his companies’ brass are suspected of illicit gas trade resulting in UAH 18 billion losses to the state budget, law enforcement sources told on Monday.

Ukraine’s security service, SBU, and economic security bureau, BEB, believe Mr Firtash-controlled entities bought fuel from his own company but actually received a third of the contracted volume.

For seven years, the artificial deficit was covered by state gas, paid to the entities involved in the scheme.

Apart from notices of suspicion for Mr Firtash and eight members of his companies’ top management, law enforcement were searching his gas businesses, as well as regional gas companies. asked Mr Firtash’s Group DF for a comment.

In 2014, the oligarch was arrested in Vienna at the request of the United States, where he is wanted on corruption charges. In five years, Mr Firtash exhausted all legal mechanisms to overturn the decision.

However, when the Austrian justice minister in July 2019 allowed Mr Firtash to be extradited to the US, his defence appealed to reexamine the case, leading to the Vienna district criminal court suspending the extradition.

In early 2023, the regional criminal court in Austria’s capital city denied Mr Firtash's request to reexamine his extradition case, where he is awaiting trial on corruption charges.