A Ukrainian investment bank chaired by the husband of an opposition lawmaker was raided as part of a probe into tax evasion.
Officers from the tax police arrived today at Phoenix Capital’s office in the capital, Kiev, according comments by Lesya Orobets, the wife of the bank’s Chairman Oleksandr Omelchuk, on her Facebook Inc. page. Several dozen employees are being held inside the office, she said.
Orobets, a lawmaker from a coalition of opposition parties, called the raid a pressure tactic in President Viktor Yanukovych’s bid to recruit deputies to form a parliamentary majority. Phoenix is accused of “large-scale tax evasion,” Serhiy Pototskyi, deputy head of Kiev’s tax administration, said in televised remarks.
Yanukovych’s ruling Party of Regions won 185 seats in Oct. 28 elections and needs the support of more deputies to secure a majority in the 450-seat legislature before a new parliament convenes Dec. 17. Opposition parties united under jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko garnered 101 seats, while world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko’s UDAR got 40 and the nationalist Svoboda 37.
Vadym Kolisnichenko, a lawmaker from the Party of Regions, rejected Orbets’s comments.
“She’s just using her status to protect her business,” he said by phone. “One should conduct honest accounting and there will be no problems.”
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