In Argentina, son of Russian oligarch arrested for economic crimes in Ukraine
Photo: Lviv City Council press service

Argentina has detained Igor Churkin, the son of a Russian oligarch, who attempted to fraudulently maintain his business operations in Ukraine, as reported by the Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) press service.

The issue of extraditing Churkin to Ukraine is currently being addressed.

In July 2022, the DBR issued a notice of suspicion to Igor Churkin and his accomplice for illegally controlling the assets of the Lviv Bus Factory (LAZ) company. LAZ had taken a substantial loan from a state bank, using its assets as collateral. Igor Churkin spent the money at his discretion and refused to repay the loan to the bank.

At the same time, he was unwilling to lose the company's assets that were under collateral.

Churkin developed a scheme to block the auction sale of the collateral assets by the Ukrainian bank. The company's director, under the oligarch's son's control, filed a knowingly false report with the police about an alleged severe criminal offense committed by the bank's representatives.

This report became the basis for initiating criminal proceedings and placing a seizure on the collateral assets.

Later, the company's director was found guilty by the court and sentenced to two years in prison.

LAZ is currently non-operational. The company began to decline after its privatization in 2001 when over 70% of its shares were purchased by Sil-Auto, a company associated with Churkin. This led to mass layoffs, salary delays, and eventually the sale of assets. The factory continued to operate but significantly reduced its production scale.

LAZ ceased operations in October 2014 following a conflict between the owner and local authorities. In 2015, the Lviv Regional Prosecutor's Office initiated criminal proceedings for the illegal appropriation of LAZ's assets, and initiatives for the nationalization of the factory appeared in the Ukrainian parliament.