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【International Affairs】How did “Buddy Joe” launder Ukraine?

The following content is provided by International Affairs – a journal of Russia’s Foreign Ministry

(Author: Theodor Zima, observer of Bog Rata)

 

編輯摘要/ 香港國際問題研究所研究員湯均佑

今年7月底,美國總統特朗普(Donald Trump)被爆料致電烏克蘭總統澤倫斯基(Volodymyr Zelensky),要求烏政府協助調查美國民主黨總統參選人拜登(Joe Biden),進而引發美國眾議院針對川普「電話門」彈劾調查,直指川普的行為違憲。而此事在11月23日又有了新進展:烏克蘭最高議會兩位議員,亞歷山大.杜賓斯基(Oleksandr Dubinsky)與安德烈.德爾卡赫(Andriy Derkach)召開記者會,宣稱取得關於拜登與其子杭特(Hunter Biden)勾結烏克蘭前朝政府的關鍵證據。

兩位議員指出,根據相關人士所提供的資料,美國前副總統及駐烏克蘭外交人員,與烏克蘭檢調與金融等單位互動密切。在烏克蘭前自然與生態部長,同時也是杭特任職公司「布里斯瑪控股(Burisma Holdings)」的創辦人,米科拉·茲洛切夫斯基(Mykola Zlochevsky)遭受洗錢罪名調查起訴時,總計至少165萬美元的不明現金透過布里斯瑪控股流入拜登父子帳戶,而烏國政府對米科拉·茲洛切夫斯基的調查也幾乎在同時宣告撤銷。

亞歷山大.杜賓斯基與安德烈.德爾卡赫表示,如此膽大妄為的跨國貪腐行為,若烏前總統波羅申科(Petro Poroshenko)不知情的可能性極低。兩位議員公開呼籲烏克蘭現任總統澤連斯基(Volodymyr Zelensky)若想整頓國家政經情勢,便應當立即至美國通報本案細節,並向華盛頓尋求協助,更深入調查拜登父子與烏克蘭前朝官員的不正當勾當。

特朗普早前要求澤倫斯基協助調查拜登勾結烏克蘭前朝政府的事宜,他因此而要面對眾議院的彈劾調查 (圖片來源: Wikimedia Commons)

 

At a recent news conference in Kyiv, Verkhovna Rada deputies Oleksandr Dubinsky and Andriy Derkach unveiled documents implicating Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (!), as well as former US Vice President Joe Biden and US embassy officials in Kyiv in the withdrawal of at least $10 billion from Ukraine. These documents corroborate Derkach’s longtime claims about the Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) being controlled by the US embassy staff in Kyiv. They also contain correspondence, which indicates that the deputy head of NABU, Gizo Uglava, had for a number of years been providing the US embassy with information that negatively affected the course of events in both Ukraine and the United States.

 

“According to the correspondence, starting from July 14, 2017, lists of criminal proceedings that NABU detectives are engaged in were regularly sent from the electronic mailbox of Gizo Uglava’s assistant Polina Chyzh to the legal specialist of the US Department of State’s anti-corruption program at the US Embassy in Ukraine, Hanna Emelyanova,” Derkach said.

 

Derkach produced a letter in which NABU employee Polina Chyzh was instructed by Hanna Emelyanova, a US Embassy staffer, ​​to provide information related to the criminal case of Ukraine’s former minister of ecology and Burisma Group owner Mykola Zlochevsky. According to Andriy Derkach, that’s exactly why the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, acting on instructions from the country’s top leadership, closed the investigation of Zlochevsky. The MP also revealed the amount of money that had been transferred to Burisma representatives in a scandalous story, which also involved the family of former US Vice President Joe Biden. According to the documents, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, Alexander Kwasniewski, Alan Apter and Devon Archer received at least $16.5 million from the Burisma Group, with $900,000 transferred to the accounts of Joe Biden himself.

 

All facts pertaining to money laundering were carefully kept under wraps by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine. Andriy Derkach believes that the case was closed immediately after Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka was appointed to his post. What is also clear is that these manipulations with budget funds could have been impossible without the participation of Ukraine’s ex-president.

 

“International corruption of this magnitude, as well as interference in US presidential elections, could not have occurred without the participation of Petro Poroshenko,” Derkach noted.

 

The newly released information sheds light on the way the money provided by Burisma was actually laundered, and the role Hunter Biden played in all that. In a classic scheme, Burisma partnered with a company named Rosemont Seneca Partners, which served as a channel for siphoning off the $16.5 million.

烏克蘭最高議會兩位議員指拜登父子至少收取了165萬美元的不明現金,令前烏克蘭自然與生態部長米科拉·茲洛切夫斯基無需被起訴 (圖片來源: Wikimedia Commons)

All these financial transactions are confirmed by the disclosed extracts obtained from the multinational investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley. Between 2012 and 2019, huge amounts of budget money were taken out of Ukraine, laundered and returned, but now in the form of debt! This scheme was devised under President Viktor Yanukovych, and later expanded under Petro Poroshenko, with former National Bank of Ukraine governor Valeria Gontareva providing a cover for the whole operation. According to Oleksandr Dubinsky and Andriy Derkach, this practice of siphoning off funds from the Ukrainian economy is still very much there, pushing the country to the brink of a financial default, which will inevitably come in 2020-2021. Dubinsky and Derkach believe that the current leadership of the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine wants to hide this information and keep this criminal money withdrawal scam in place.

 

Now it all depends on President Zelensky’s ability to save the country. “Moreover, if President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to break this vicious “financial noose” around our country’s neck, he should immediately turn to the US authorities for help,” Derkach said. “He needs to fly to Washington with all these documents and ask them to set up a special commission under the US Treasury to investigate this criminal scheme,” he added.

 

The question, however, is where do all these damning documents actually come from? According to Derkach, they were provided by investigative journalists who now worry about their safety. And with good reason too given the high-powered politicians involved in this scandal. If the information dug up by the Ukrainian MPs is confirmed, 11 criminal cases, previously launched against Rosemont Seneca Partners will be reopened and the Biden family will find themselves at the center of the most high-profile international corruption scandal in modern US history.

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