Poroshenko found to have offshore entities to avoid paying taxes in Ukraine

10:01, 4 april 2016

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko allegedly has offshore entities, which he can use to avoid paying Ukrainian taxes if he sells his confectionery company, Roshen. This information came to light in the Panama Papers, which were published on April 3.

The Panama Papers are a set of confidential documents originally created by corporate services firm Mossack Fonseca, which were leaked to journalists in 2015. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project helped in the investigation of offshore shell companies and transactions that could be traced back to Eastern Europe. News network Hromadske.TV took part in matters related to Ukraine, and newspaper Novaya Gazeta in those that related to Russia.

The investigative journalists say that President Poroshenko lied when he claimed he had created a “blind trust” to manage Roshen. Moreover, in 2014, Poroshenko did not the declare to tax authorities the existence of his Prime Asset Partners Limited offshore company. This company, the journalists say, was created specifically for the tax-free sale of Roshen.

Poroshenko, one of Ukraine's richest men, made a promise during his presidential election campaign to sell Roshen. The logic behind the creation of a “blind trust” was so Poroshenko could not unfairly use his position to benefit his own company during his presidency.

Roshen has not yet been sold, so it is not possible to know how much Poroshenko would “save” by selling Roshen through his offshore entities.

Poroshenko's press service has yet to issue any official statement on the allegations.