How Kurchenko’s Offshores Worked
People who used to know young billionaire-in-exile Serhiy Kurchenko say that if he ever started drawing his financial “chain” on a piece of paper, it would finish up on the ceiling.
Kurchenko’s chain is made up of hundreds of fake Ukrainian companies, dozens of offshore firmsand more than 600 people who served at the beck and call of this young man who sprang from nowhere.
Reporters Slidstvo.info and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), obtained documents from a former Kurchenko employee that give an idea how Kurchenko’s businesses operated, and how, through a system of offshore companies, he pumped millions of dollars into a single Latvian bank.
The documents came from Kurchenko’s Eastern European Fuel and Energy Company, (acronym SEPEK in Ukrainian or VETEK in Russian).
“We were banned from talking to each other at work,” says the former employee, whose name is withheld for the employee’s protection. “And when we left work, we had to leave the desk clean and could not take anything home.”
Among the documents is a database showing that Kurchenko employed more than 640 people. These were managers with varying levels of responsibility. Almost half are around Kurchenko’s age, under 30. He will turn 29 in September, and will most likely celebrate his birthday outside of Ukraine, which he fled after the collapse of former president Viktor Yanukovych’s regime.