Customs Cash Cow (Update)

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March 1, 2013, 4:25 p.m. | Ukraine — by Anna Babinets, Dmytro Gnap

Ihor Kaletnyk, the then-head of the State Customs Service (R), shows a newly built Odesa-based cargo customs complex Euroterminal to President Viktor Yanukovych (L) in November 2011. The private firm is drawing criticism from officials and importers for charging higher processing fees and its opaque ownership structure is generating questions.

Anna Babinets

Dmytro Gnap

Editor’s Note: The following investigation into Euroterminal, a mysterious private firm that has taken over much of what was previously state-run customs clearance of imports, was conducted by the Washington-based Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a Kyiv Post partner. The project was coordinated by Kyiv Post staff writer Vlad Lavrov. The authors are Kyiv-based Ukrainian journalists working for the investigative bureau On Feb. 28, the OCCRP published online two sidebars that examine more closely how Euroterminal operates and some of the people that are linked to the enterprise.

The three stories (including the main story) can be found here:

Custom treatment

Operators of cargo terminal raise questions

 New corruption replaces old

ODESA – A stretch of dried-up swamp on the outskirts of Odesa is where probably more cash change hands daily than anywhere else in Ukraine. The 50-hectare site is known as Euroterminal, a cargo and customs clearinghouse with a murky ownership structure that has support from Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych, who helped get it started.

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