Zelensky on Pandora Papers: Kvartal 95 not involved in money laundering

Zelensky on Pandora Papers: Kvartal 95 not involved in money laundering

President Volodymyr Zelensky assures he saw no new details in the recent Pandora Papers investigation alleging his ties to a number of offshore holdings as all information published had been previously known.

Kvartal 95 Studio is not involved in any kind of money laundering, Zelensky told ICTV, according to Ukrinform.

"Honestly, the plot (of the investigative film - ed.) is not too good – this I'm telling you as a professional. Why? That’s because, first of all, there’s nothing new in it. It was like deja vu to me. In 2019, I saw the same film on (former president Petro - ed.) Poroshenko's channels, which he broadcast as he realized there was nothing on me, there was no dirt," Zelensky said.

Read also: White House: Pandora Papers investigation won’t change Washington–Kyiv dialogue

The head of state said he saw no new details in the latest inquiry.

At the same time, answering questions about the opening of offshore companies in 2012, the president noted that "under Yanukovych, everyone structured their businesses, especially in television and media business, all channels had companies abroad, because it opened an opportunity not to be influenced by politics."

"Kvartal 95 was doing satire that everyone sought to put pressure on and wanted to influence. Tax officials would come to us – perhaps not daily but every week, that’s for sure. So amid things like these, there was business structuring at Kvartal 95 Studio where companies would be opened abroad, that’s besides those many companies that existed in the territory of Ukraine," the head of state said.

However, the president assured those companies had never been involved in money laundering.

"I built my business in Ukraine myself, without budgets, without the government, from scratch. In 2012, neither I nor any other member of Kvartal 95 Studio was involved in money laundering – neither in 2012, nor 2001, and nor in 2019," Zelensky emphasized.

Earlier, the Slidstvo.Info editorial office released an investigative documentary "Offshore 95", claiming that the Pandora Papers, the latest leak of documents from 14 companies that had been registering and servicing firms in offshore jurisdictions, allegedly partially confirmed the transfer of funds from oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky to the offshore companies controlled by Volodymyr Zelensky and his allies.

In particular, the publication claimed its journalists managed to identify the ultimate beneficiaries of offshore companies who could ultimately receive the said funds, and that this money could allegedly be part of those siphoned from Privatbank.

The Pandora Papers investigation was conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 150 newsrooms from around the world. It exposes the offshore assets of 35 former and incumbent world leaders. The list includes former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. In addition, the inquiry reveals the involvement of Russian media manager Konstantin Ernst in a billion-dollar privatization deal in Russia.

In total, the Pandora Papers project processed 11.9 million files from 14 offshore law firms and service providers. The documents lift the veil from the financial system, allowing 0.1% of the planet’s population to hide their wealth from taxation and the general public. The ICIJ received documents and shared data with journalists from 117 countries.

Photo: president.gov.ua


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