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ArcelorMittal’s Ukraine accounts frozen over tax evasion claims



ArcelorMittal  Kryvyi Rih  CFO Serhiy Plichko is accused of evading payment of more than 2.24 billion UAH (€72m). Photo: Matic Zorman

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih CFO Serhiy Plichko is accused of evading payment of more than 2.24 billion UAH (€72m). Photo: Matic Zorman

A Ukrainian court has frozen steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal’s bank accounts in the country over accusations that a senior executive committed tax evasion.

Ukraine’s largest steel mill Kryvyi Rih was purchased from the state by ArcelorMittal in 2005 and the Luxembourg-based group has since made major investments in the facility to become the country's biggest foreign direct investor. 

In the recent accusations, the court states that CFO Serhiy Plichko was reported in November 2021 on suspicion of forgery and intentional tax evasion of particularly large amounts. He is also accused of providing false information in a rent declaration for the use of subsoil for the extraction of minerals, evading payment of more than UAH 2.24bn (€72m).

“It was established that no deductions were made from these accounts for the payment of taxes, fees and other obligatory payments, as well as for the payment of wages,” said Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office in a press release.

The prosecutors stated that “the seizure of the company’s accounts was filed in order to compensate for the damage caused to Ukraine’s budget.”

ArcelorMittal’s position is that the criminal charges are made against an individual, not the company and are politically motivated.

“The company considers these charges baseless and a clear example of political pressure on a major foreign investor. There is no current tax related civil proceeding against ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih and therefore no legal grounds to freeze the company’s accounts,” the steel manufacturer said in a press release.