Olena Rotari: Trukhanov is accused of creating a criminal group

Odesa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov (C) speaks during a congress of their political party, Doveryai Delam (“Trust in Deeds”), in Kharkiv on June 2, 2019.Photo by Oleg Petrasiuk

In the last week, detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, known as NABU, conducted mass searches across various parts of Odesa.

Criminal proceedings relate to the schemes of City Hall and the appropriation of money from the city’s budget. Searches are held in almost 20 places; work offices and houses of possible suspects, including officials of the City Council.

What is the Odesa City Hall and its “watchers” (it means “patron” in the language of the criminal world) are accused of?

The circle of the people involved, including Odesa officials, has already been identified, reported NABU.

Investigators suspect that a criminal gang has been created.

According to preliminary estimates, the city community was damaged by a half-billion hryvnia.

The case includes Odesa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov, Volodymyr Galanternik, ex-prosecutor oblast Oleh Zhuchenko, and employees of the construction company Budova, which is unofficially owned by Galanternik.

None of them could be reached for comment.

According to Vladimir Deulin, director of the Odesa Territorial Administration of NABU, an investigation is currently taking place in criminal proceedings in which a number of other cases are combined.
Among them is the purchase made by the Odesa City Council at an inflated price of the premises at the Krayan factory building, the territory of the Zastava airfields, ostensibly to expand the Western cemetery, the appropriation of the land plot of the Shkolny military airfield, the illegal transfer of several communally owned premises, etc.

The actions of the suspects are qualified under Part 5 of Art. 191, part 2 of article 364 and h. 3 Art. 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine — misappropriation, embezzlement of funds, abuse of power or official position and legalization of money that got in crime way.

Impudent scam
Four years ago, the Odesa Municipality laid out an unreasonably high amount of Hr 146.85 million for land in the area of Two Pillars (Tiraspol highway, the outskirts of Odesa.) We are talking about the purchase of buildings and structures of the former Zastava airfield from LLC Odesa Airlines to expand the city cemetery. Deputies of the City Council made this decision with a vote (the deputy unit was not acquainted with the draft decision in advance, but was provided with it on the voting day). The price included the cost of a huge array of urban land (140.87 hectares).

Then the director of the Department of Communal Property, Olexii Spector said, that this territory will pay off for the city in 10 years, despite the fact that in Odesa there is no communal enterprise that would provide funeral services.

Olexander Bornyakov, deputy minister of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, was a deputy of the Odesa City Council in 2016. He was the one who urged the local deputy unit to pay attention to the most arrogant scam in the history of Odesa.

According to the deputy minister, they sent a request to the communal property department of the Odesa City Council asking: who actually owns the land in the territory of the former Zastava airfield?

Olexander Bornyakov quoted the answer that he received from the department: “… the land plot on which the buildings and structures are located at the address: Odesa, 22 g Tiraspol highway, which they plan to redeem in accordance with the decision of the Odesa City Council as of 21, 09, 2016, refers to the communal property lands of the territorial community represented by the Odesa City Council, which has not been transferred for use or ownership to a legal or physical person.”

That is, according to the deputy minister of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Odesa City Hall bought the land four years ago for 146 million UAH. As for the company that allegedly sold the land, Olexander Bornyakov said that in the spring and summer of 2016, Odesa Airline LLC changed its owners three times, and the head of this company suspected of fraud with the sale of the land of the airfield, Andriy Virchenko was already accused of extortion by the media.

Another deputy of the Odesa City Council, Olha Kvasnitska says that today the mayor of the city, Gennady Trukhanov, takes the place of moderator in the Odesa city council. In her words, he was the one who manipulated the ideas of such decisions and controlled the voting of the deputy unit. “Trukhanov had no right to submit this decision to the vote, Popovskaya (head of the legal department of the Odesa City Council) did not have the right to coordinate these documents. Shkryabay as the chairman of the permanent deputy commission on the communal property did not have the right to allow this decision. Many do not understand that the Permanent Commission for this is going to show the community that such decisions cannot be made. This issue was decided by Vladimir Galanternik. I have repeatedly talked about the shadow management of the city,” the deputy noted.

SACC (Supreme Anti-Corruption Court) has chosen a preventive measure for the first suspects in the case of Zastava airfield’s land

The first suspects in the case of the multi-million dollar purchase of Zastava airport under the cemetery was Olexii Spector, the director of the Odesa Department of Communal Property, along with Vasiliy Shkryabay the chairman of the permanent deputy commission for communal property of the Odesa City Council, Inna Popovska the head of the legal department of the Odesa City Council and Andriy Virchenk Director of Odesa Airline LLC. All of them received a preventive measure in the form of a pledge: Olexii Spector — Hr 4.8 million, Vasily Shkryabay — Hr 10.5 million, Andrey Virchenko — Hr 6.8 million; Inna Popovskaya — Hr 630,600.

In addition, the suspects were obliged to refrain from communicating with representatives of 11 companies, including companies associated with Galanternik.

Also, law enforcement officers from Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office became aware that one of the companies paid off its debts at the expense of the funds received — it was South Trans Terminal LLC, as well as Venford, the place of registration in Hong Kong, received 2/3 of the tranche.

The New York Corporation also sent part of the funds received to its bank account, and also transferred it to other companies, including to the Logistic Service Group account, from where they then transferred the funds to the account of Arcadia City LLC.

The investigation believes that it was in this way that the funds were dropped into the pockets of “secret” controllers and became legalized. It is the Arcadia City firm that the media associate with the unofficial “owner” of Odesa, Galanternik.

According to media reports, he owns several construction companies, controls the Privoz market, the City Center shopping mall, the coastal territory of Arcadia City, shopping facilities on Starosennaya Square, the Green Wood luxury residential complex and the Hotel De Paris, which is located 50 m from the Potemkin stairs. In fact, the registered beneficiaries of his entire business are companies registered in London.

According to the words of Odesa journalist Oleksandr Sybirtsev for Antikor publication, Galanternik was an ordinary businessman who traded electrical goods in the early 1990s.

“Therefore, his first nickname was the Bulb,” said the journalist.

Later, according to Sibirtsev, Galanternik joined a criminal gang which belonged to the Odesa resident Aleksandr Angert, nicknamed Angel.

In this gang, as indicated in the Italian police report on the international mafia, published in 1998, was also composed of Trukhanov, the current mayor of Odesa.

According to Sibirtsev, the incredibly secretive entrepreneur Galanternik is still leading the affairs of the entire Angel group and is “watching” his business.

According to anonymous sources, there are no exes in the criminal world, and it’s easy to guess where and to who the Ukrainian money goes.

Olena Rotari is a journalist with Channel 7 Odesa and Daryna Sarhan is a translation editor. Channel 7 Odesa is owned by the KADORR Group, which also owns the Kyiv Post.


One comment

  • What are the odds on this investigation dying a death once Zelensky’s puppet PGO, gets herself involved with this pro Russian mafia gang?

    Liked by 2 people

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