Odesa Mayor Hennady Trukhanov stands during a hearing on his arrest at the Kyiv Court of Appeal on Feb. 26, 2018. The court authorized his release without bail.Photo by UNIAN
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine on July 2 searched premises allegedly linked to Odesa Mayor Hennady Trukhanov and his ally Vladimir Galanternik in the city.
Trukhanov’s press office declined to comment.
Local anti-corruption activists accuse Trukhanov and his alleged business partners, Alexander Angert and Vladimir Galanternik, of having turned Odesa into their private fiefdom, awarding the most lucrative land and municipal contracts to their own companies. The properties allegedly linked to the trio are not officially owned by them, and it is often difficult to trace the links between them and the assets.
Angert and Galanternik could not be reached for comment.
Specifically, the July 2 searches were part of embezzlement, abuse of office and money laundering cases into Odesa’s Shkilny and Zastava military airfields, the Krayan factory building and privatization of municipal property, Volodymyr Deulin, head of the NABU’s Odesa branch, told the Dumskaya news site.
He said that losses to municipal property were estimated at over Hr 500 million in the criminal cases.
In July 2019, Odesa’s Malinovsky District Court acquitted Trukhanov in the Krayan case. Trukhanov is accused of organizing a city council vote to buy the old Krayan factory administrative building for Hr 185 million in September 2016, when it had been purchased at the beginning of the year by another firm for only Hr 4 million, suggesting the deal was a scheme to embezzle money from the city.
Local anti-corruption activists lambasted the court ruling as a political bargain aimed at whitewashing Trukhanov. Currently the case is undergoing the appeal stage at the High Anti-Corruption Court.
In the Zastava case, Trukhanov and Odesa City Council are accused of embezzling funds during the purchase of the Zastava military airfield, according to the court register.
In 2016, Odesa City Council bought the Zastava military airfield for Hr 147 million from Odesa Aviation Company. According to an official request sent to the NABU by lawmaker Viktor Kryvenko, Andriy Virchenko, the owner of Odesa Aviation Company, is linked to businessman Vladimir Galanternik. A week after getting the money, Odesa Aviation Company transferred Hr 146 million to a firm called News York Corporation.
Trukhanov and other city officials are also under investigation over the allegedly illegal allocation of land plots for construction projects free of charge without tenders, including one at Odesa’s Shkilny military airfield.
(C)KYIV POST 2020