Tue, 26 May 2020

A 'high-profile fugitive' from Ukraine who faked his death and lived a 'lavish lifestyle' in France has been arrested, the European Union law enforcement agency Europol says.

Three sources told RFE/RL on October 16 that the man arrested in France is Dmytro Malynovskyy, an Odesa businessman who reports say has been wanted by police in Ukraine since 2015 on suspicion of large-scale fraud and forgery in a case involving Defense Ministry property in the Black Sea port city.

The sources -- a senior Ukrainian official, a Ukrainian diplomat based in the European Union, and a senior official in the EU -- spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Europol said that the man, whose name it did not release, was detained near the eastern city of Dijon earlier this month, together with three alleged accomplices.

More than 4.6 million euros ($5.3 million) in assets, including 'a castle, a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom, and 3 works of art by Salvador Dali,' were seized in the October 5 raid, a press release said.

It said the man was thought to be behind 'a complex case of international fraud and money laundering.'

Europol said that the French authorities launched in January an investigation into alleged suspicious transactions surrounding the purchase of a 3 million-euro ($3.5 million) castle in the Burgundy region by a Luxembourg-based company.

It was later established that the ultimate beneficial owner was wanted in Ukraine for alleged 'corruption at a large scale' who managed to evade justice by producing 'forged death certificates,' Europol said.

Officials in Ukraine have not commented publicly on the Europol statement.

With reporting by Christopher Miller

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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