Belarusian authorities detain 13 ‘Tut.by’ employees after announcing tax fraud case
Belarusian law enforcement have detained at least 13 people who work for the independent new outlet Tut.by.
Earlier in the day on May 18, the Belarusian authorities announced that the media outlet’s leadership is under investigation for tax fraud. They also blocked Tut.by’s website for allegedly violating media legislation by “posting prohibited information.”
According to reports from Tut.by, the following people have been detained:
- General Director Lyudmila Chekina;
- Chief Accountant Angela Assad;
- Deputy Accountant Maria Novik;
- Deputy Accountant Irina Rybalko;
- HR Director Nadezhda Adamovich
- Deputy Editor-in-Chief Maxim Gayko
- Journalist Elena Tolkacheva
- Software Engineer Vitaly Kalinovsky
- Business Analyst Vadim Trusov
- Head of Marketing Anna Zayats
- Head of Sales Marina Kushnerevich
- Manager Andrey Avdeev
- Deputy Editor-in-Chief Olga Loyko
Tut.by editor-in-chief Marina Zolotova was taken to the Department of Financial Investigations for questioning after the financial police searched her home. According to Tut.by, officers also visited the homes of other company employees and several of them had their equipment confiscated.
In addition to being one of Belarus’s leading independent news outlets, Tut.by is one of the most visited online portals in the country. A Minsk court deprived the outlet of its media license in December 2020 for allegedly spreading false information about the presidential election in Belarus. Tut.by continued working regardless.