At the moment employees of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (hereinafter NABU) are conducting a search at the central office of Smart Energy Group (part of Smart-Holding), as well as at the office in Yakhnyki village (Poltava region). The basis for the searches is a writ of investigative judge of anti-corruption court T.R. Khamzina. Based on the wording of the writ, investigative actions are carried out as part of pre-trial investigation in criminal proceedings on legitimacy of issuing in 2017 a special permit for hydrocarbon production to Arkona Gas-Energy (hereinafter Arkona), the acquisition of which was announced on London Stock Exchange in March this year.
Smart Energy points out an unjustified pressure on the British investor and entire business of the Group.
Sergii Glazunov, the CEO of Smart Energy, said: “The way we understand it NABU has certain claims to the officials of the State Service for Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine and Arkona Gas-Energy. NABU is contemplating whether a permit for hydrocarbon production was obtained by the company a number of years ago in a legal way. Enwell Energy purchased Arkona in March this year, following all legal procedures, requirements of Ukrainian legislation and London Stock Exchange. The law enforcement officers decided to get a hold of the documents related to the agreement, that is why they made a preliminary request. What is not entirely clear is connection between obtainment of the permit and actions of the State Service for Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine officials, Arkona representatives and recent agreement. Three years ago, we knew absolutely nothing about Arkona. At the same time, we warned NABU representatives on time that all documents, just the way it is supposed to be, are the property of London company Enwell Energy, and it is that company they should be approaching. The company, located in Kyiv and Poltava offices is not a part of the agreement. However, NABU, being aware of that, would go to extra measures: conducted searches that interrupted activities of the entire Group. NABU detectives got lost in their own backyard and persistently appeal to the third parties that are not actually the owners of wanted documents in any way.”
Sergii Glazunov noted obvious unlawfulness of these actions: “The writ clearly defines the documents that can be seized, as well as the premises where investigative actions can take place. As for the documents I mentioned above, they should have gone to another address. As for today’s searches, they are carried out not only at Enwell Energy office (Regal Petroleum), but also in other companies located on the same floor. Companies that had nothing to do with the acquisition of Arkona, and there is no court permission to enter the premises of these companies. Their business is blocked as well. There is a lot of pressure put on the British investor. So there goes an “investment nanny”. We co-operate with the investigation, providing any information at a word and we truly do not see any reasons for such extraordinary actions of NABU”, assured Sergii Glazunov.
Smart Energy CEO also said that over 6 months of this year alone the companies that are part of the Group paid more than half a billion hryvnya in taxes to the budgets of all levels.