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Personal asset declarations filed by politicians and government officials in Ukraine have indicated that many have made significant investments in cryptocurrency. However, some of them have been unable to prove ownership or account for their digital holdings, local media reported.
Lawmaker Loses Over 40 BTC With Stolen Vehicle in Ukraine
Dmitry Gurin, a member of Ukrainian parliament from President Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, has allegedly lost a serious amount of cryptocurrency to car thieves, according to an audit of his 2020 declaration quoted by the “Slovo i Dilo” portal. The deputy claims the digital money was stored on a hardware wallet that disappeared with his car which was stolen earlier this year.
Data filed by the lawmaker revealed his wife, Maria Saltykova, had 42 BTC last year worth an estimated 22.5 million hryvnia (around $840,000 at current hryvnia rates or over $2 million at BTC prices at the time of writing), Forklog reported. Ukraine’s National Agency for Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) said Gurin had not submitted any documents confirming the accuracy of this information.
The parliamentarian, who in the past decade ran his own advertising company, provided a verbal explanation, stating the vehicle was stolen on April 21, along with the crypto wallet keeping the coins. He added that the case is under investigation by the police department in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
Gurin is not an exception in the Ukrainian political elite. Earlier in September, news came out that the head of the State Regulatory Service (SRS), Oleksiy Kucher, had failed to prove ownership of an even bigger crypto stash. According to his declaration filed in December, when he left the post of Governor of Kharkiv Oblast, Kucher had 77 BTC worth about 13.1 million hryvnia at the time of purchase (almost $490,000 at current hryvnia rates.)
If the coins were sold at the time of writing, they would have returned more than $3.7 million. Tax returns show the official and his family members have earned less than 1 million hryvnia (approx. $37,000) in wages during the last two decades since 2001. NAPC believes this indicates that Kucher has filed false information regarding his possession of the cryptocurrency. In a press release dated Sept. 6, the agency elaborated:
Bitcoin has a public address which confirms that it belongs to a certain person. The head of the SRS was unable to provide a public cryptocurrency address.
In their 2020 assets declarations, 652 officials in Ukraine have admitted to owning a total of 46 351 BTC (worth more than $2.2 billion now) among other cryptocurrencies such as ETH, LTC, BCH, and XMR, the Opendatabot platform, which monitors public registries, has revealed. This spring, the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption promised to verify these numbers.
Do you expect more Ukrainian officials to fail to prove ownership of declared cryptocurrency assets? Tell us in the comments section below.
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