The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO) did not reveal any violations during the searches at the offices of Nova Poshta on March 16, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko assured Nova Poshta co-owner Viacheslav Klimov. “The funds of customers of Post Finance [the Forpost system] seized during the search will be returned. The legal service of the Nova Poshta group of companies will answer all questions of the Prosecutor General’s Office and will provide all the necessary materials that will allow making a lawful decision on the case,” the group wrote on Facebook.
At the same time, it notes the prosecutor general expressed concern about the use of carriers in schemes for transportation of illegal goods. “The parties agreed to develop a joint action plan to prevent possible cases of transportation of illegal goods,” Nova Poshta stated.
PGO Speaker Andriy Lysenko, in turn, wrote on Facebook that during a meeting of Yuriy Lutsenko and Viacheslav Klimov, the parties expressed interest in the lawful organization of work of the leader of the Ukrainian express delivery market. “The prosecutor general and the Nova Poshta representative agreed on cooperation to improve the company’s work, minimize the risks of carrying prohibited goods and prevent possible illegal financial services in order to evade taxation. For this the working meetings of Nova Poshta lawyers and financiers with the representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office will be held, as well as control purchases of goods and services will be made,” the speaker said.
He also said that Lutsenko informed Klimov about the numerous facts of violations, which were revealed in work of the Nova Poshta branches. In particular, this concerned the transfer of non-excise alcoholic drinks and narcotic substances in large quantities. The investigators also received information from the Interior Ministry regarding possible tax evasion in the course of money transfers.
As reported, with reference to Lutsenko’s press secretary Larysa Sarhan, the Prosecutor General’s Office suspects officials of the companies affiliated with Nova Poshta LLC of non-payment of taxes in especially large amounts, and therefore on March 16 it conducted searches in the central office in Kyiv and other offices of the company in Poltava, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Lviv.
Later it became known that Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman instructed the Ministry of Justice, the Business Ombudsman Council, the Ukraine Investment Promotion Office to analyze the cases of searches at the enterprises and prepare a meeting of the special commission formed in the framework of monitoring the implementation of the law on business protection “stop masks-show.”
Nova Poshta group of companies, the leader of express delivery in Ukraine, demands to immediately stop criminal proceedings against it and pressure on business. According to an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent, this was stated by co-founder of the group Viacheslav Klimov during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine dedicated to searches in the offices of Nova Poshta conducted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine on Friday, March 16.
“At the same time, I want to emphasize that we are ready to answer any questions of law enforcers through civilized requests, through meetings, and not in the form of forceful actions, searches and interrogations. Our lawyers, the employees of financial directorates are ready to cooperate and answer any questions, but we want this to be made not in blocked offices, not within eight hours, not in the format of searches, interrogations, and arrests,” he said.
According to Klimov, Nova Poshta reminds the authorities and demands them to fulfill the promise to create a financial investigations service that will deprive the appropriate forces of relevant powers and will become an analytical service without force instruments as in the entire civilized world.
“We are sure that the effectiveness of this kind of activity will grow at once, which will influence the budget of our law enforcement bodies. We also demand that the moratorium on inspections, which has recently expired and inspections immediately resumed and became more aggressive, be renewed,” Klimov added.