MOSCOW, June 5 (RAPSI) – Austrian Prosecutor’s Office is conducting a preliminary probe of Aleksei Azarov, son of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov, on his alleged involvement in a money laundering scheme, Die Presse reports on Thursday.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov declared his resignation in February 2014, in order to facilitate a peaceful solution for the ongoing political crisis.
The probe has been initiated in February, shortly after Azarov resigned and fled the country. The probe was initiated after an undisclosed bank reported possible money laundering activities. Apart from Azarov, the authorities are investigating his wife Liliya, unnamed Ukrainian national, tax consultant Christoph G. and commercial law attorney Friedrich B. They are suspected of money laundering and breaking economic sanctions laws.
Prosecutors believe that Friedrich B. managed Austrian assets of ousted president Viktor Yanukovich.
In late February, the Swiss authorities froze the assets of 20 Ukrainians including Yanukovich, former prosecutor general Viktor Pshonka and former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov. In March, the assets belonging to nine more Ukrainian officials and their relatives were frozen.
On February 22, radicals seized power in violation of the February 21 agreement on the settlement of the crisis, signed by Ukraine’s opposition leaders and President Viktor Yanukovich in the presence of the French, German and Polish foreign ministers. The Verkhovna Rada announced the deposition of Yanukovich, reinstated the 2004 constitution and set early presidential elections for May 25, which were subsequently won by Ukrainian chocolate king Pyotr Poroshenko.