“Upstairs they just asked for money.” What is behind the general searches of business that go all over Ukraine
In Ukraine, opened a new season of hunting for business. On the eve of Independence Day, the SBU appeared with searches to the Lviv office of the concern “Galneftegaz”, which owns a large OKKO filling station network.
The official reason is pre-trial investigation in the framework of the criminal case under Article 3 of Article 110-2 of the Criminal Code, in simple terms, allegations of financing of terrorism.
“The searches lasted 21 hours and actually paralyzed the company’s work.The essence of the accusations of the SBU is that we are allegedly continuing to conduct business in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk region (including the so-called DnP) and the Crimea. , since 2014, our company does not work in the temporarily occupied territories, “the official explanation of the company says.
They also added that they hope to solve the misunderstanding in the near future in the legal plane. “And get from the SBU an apology not only for property, but for the reparation losses that the company received.”
However, the history with OKKO is only the tip of the iceberg. Almost all the experts, with whom the “Country” communicated, unanimously assert – recently the pressure on business has significantly increased.
“There are no moratoriums in practice, in fact, they do not work – a string of controllers from a variety of instances was drawn in the company,” said Sergei Dorotich, head of the Union for the Protection of Entrepreneurship.
On the one hand, to strengthen inspections there are objective prerequisites – for example, mass poisoning of citizens with poor-quality food or emergency in shopping malls. On the other hand, controllers are often used for raiding or blackmail, “Andrei Zablovsky, head of the secretariat of the Council of Entrepreneurs under the Cabinet, explained to” The Country “.
Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Trade Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Natalia Zemlyanskaya says that under the hood of officials are mostly liquid and well-earning companies that “have something to lose”. And she herself calls the check-up shaft “a splash of pre-election maneuvers.”
The head of the Ukrainian Association of Trade Network Suppliers, Alexei Doroshenko, adds: as money is getting less and less for politicians, and businesses are not in a hurry to vote for them with their contributions, they are “stimulated” with mass checks. “Moreover, if earlier we could talk about selling a cheap part of the business, now they are taking exceptionally with live money,” Doroshenko said.
“Country” knew how and who will make business in Ukraine terrible
“They lower it to the ground, return it to the investment climate”
Visitors from the SBU have long been the main scarecrow for Ukrainian business. The tax authorities working on money laundering articles can compete with them.
“In times of war, the article” Aiding Terrorism “or” Financing Terrorism “can be sewn to anyone, it is possible that they will not prove anything, but they will do it well and achieve their goal,” says the head of the Ukrainian Association of Trade Network Suppliers Alexei Doroshenko .
“For the past year and a half, the de-jure non-existent tax police (in expectation of a new body, the National Bureau of Financial Security of Ukraine) is trying to squeeze out the latest juice from business. Under any pretext, police conduct hundreds of searches, interrogations and seizures, frighten enterprises with the fictitiousness of their counterparts and simply threaten criminal cases, the number of such cases is increasing, which is called avalanche. “Only in 2017 the number of applications to the court for a search in comparison with 2012 increased by 45 times! 85% of such appeals are satisfied by the courts: for example, everyone has a rumored definition of the investigative judge of the district court of Kiev, who was given permission to conduct a search of almost a thousand enterprises, “Aleksey Nekrasov, senior lawyer of Pragnum, told the” Country “.
The law with the pompous title “Maxi show stop”, which was adopted in Ukraine last year, does not work in practice, “Sergei Dorotich added.
“The norms in it are written out so vaguely that the siloviki still have very broad powers, for example, office equipment can be withdrawn if it is suspected that it was involved in criminal activity.” But according to this article, you can safely, as before, take servers and computers, so to speak, to dispel suspicions, “- notes Dorotich.
In the case of the same OKCO, the refueling stations in the territories of the Democratic People’s Republic of Crimea and the Crimea, which, as they say in the company itself, have long been out of control: looted, and in some cases destroyed. The total amount of losses from the loss of these filling stations “Galneftegaz” estimates at 80 million dollars.
In March this year, as “Country” already wrote, money laundering and terrorist financing “sewed” a large delivery network “Nova poshta.”
Experts do not doubt that the reasons for the claims of the SBU to companies are completely unrelated to terrorism.
“Personally for me in this story (with OKKO.-Ed.), There is one question: who is the customer? I think I will express a common opinion that simply attacks of SBU and other siloviki have long gone,” wrote on his page in Facebook expert of the consulting company “A-95” Sergei Kuyun.
Among the reasons for the visit of the siloviki to the OKCO, he refers to both corporate disassembly (in particular, the fact that OKKO this year has significantly moved the Trade Comodity company close to Poroshenko’s environment and increased the supply of petroleum products by order of the Defense Ministry) and too active industry activity contributed to the demolition of illegal gas stations in Kiev). But there is a third version.
“I do not rule out that someone at the top simply asked for money, especially the powers of many” immortals, “as they somehow think, next year, tu-tu. But in companies like OKKO with the EBRD and the World Bank in shareholders, this is no longer I think that Vitaliy Antonov (the president of “Galneftegaz” – Ed.) and his people understand where they flew from, but for the time being they have decided to stick to the diplomatic way of solving the problem, but I think, it will not help us. “We are all at war for a long time,” said Sergey Kuiun.
Alexei Doroshenko says that the siloviki nightmare is mostly the most tasty big business. “You can buy off almost always, agree on the amounts individually, and the amount is calculated in advance and taking into account the real business opportunities, and as tickets approach,” tickets “are sold more and more – there is little money for the campaign, and fewer people willing to invest” , – says Doroshenko.
According to Natalia Zemlyanskaya, in particular, large chemical enterprises have faced problems.
“At first, the authorities did not raise anti-dumping duties, which is why our manufacturers could not actually compete with Russian suppliers, and then, when the tariff increases were still achieved, logistics difficulties began – Ukrzaliznytsia does not provide transportation trays, warehouses are inundated. All this we regard as pressure on business, “said Zemlyanskaya.
She adds: the business will suffer until it learns to unite and assert its rights. Doroshenko says that the majority defends themselves, trying to give their history a maximum of publicity – attract the media, and actively cover the case in social networks. But, paradoxically, the sociability of the top managers of the company ends abruptly as soon as they manage to solve their problem. For example, in the same “Novaya Poshta”, which actively commented on the “Country” raiding siloviki on their own business, this time they refused to comment.
Experts with whom “Country” talked, they say that a number of companies “paid off” from the inspectors, paying medical insurance for their personnel through an insurance company close to the authorities.
“This is now a very popular method of payment, through huge sums of insurance companies,” says a source in the market.
According to him, in the case of large business, compensation is measured by hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars.
Go in a string and invoice
However, as experts have told to the “Country”, now not only large and money business are nightmarish. Controllers are more and more involved in medium and small companies.
In the list of inspectors, the experts refer to the tax authorities, the General Service, the State Service for Labor, the State Service for Emergency Situations, etc. “They began to walk more often, both with planned and unplanned raids, and often they go what is called a string – only one test is over, The business is being unsettled for weeks, as during the checks the work of the company is actually blocked, because even contractors and clients prefer to cease cooperation with it, so to speak, from sin away, “said” The Country ” Doroshenko.
At the same time, the moratorium on business checks that had been in effect in Ukraine in the last two years (it does not apply only to tax specialists), and in December 2017 was extended until 2019, now does not actually work, – says Sergey Dorotich. “At the end of last year, the law” On Temporal Features of Implementation of State Supervision Measures in the Sphere of Economic Activity “was amended, by which the controlling bodies themselves proposed criteria for which companies to inspect and which not .As a result, any company could be listed as” high-risk “We were recently approached by an entrepreneur, to whom the State Emergency Service appeared, evaluating his office as” an object of mass gathering “, although there are 15 employees in the staff, and the clients actually ki do not go “, – says Sergey Dorotich.
State service for emergencies has intensified with inspections only recently. In fact, these are well-known fire inspectors to business, who at one time were called one of the most corrupt inspectors (which, in fact, was one of the reasons for canceling the “fire” inspections). And soon the “Sanctuary” will appear on the stage in a new guise, about the appetites of which there are legends in the business environment too, warns Sergei Dorotich.
Business replenishment in the ranks of controllers is fraught with additional costs. On the one hand, official fines are constantly growing. For example, in the case of the State Service for Labor, they can reach 360 thousand UAH. Grettrebluzhba has the right to fine a percentage of turnover, which for large trading networks is estimated at millions of hryvnias, and so on.
In parallel, the amount of unofficial payments “for resolving the issue” also increases. If earlier the overseers, especially in the regions, were satisfied with several hundred dollars, now there are simply less than $ 1,000 of taxes, “one of the Kiev entrepreneurs told the” Country “, who asked not to be named.
The interlocutor of the “Country” has several outlets in the food markets of the capital and since recent times he himself has been following an article.
“A bribe of 5 thousand dollars was asked by a tax inspector, whom we had known for a long time and worked closely, asked not for a specific case, but” just like that, “for past and future inspections.How to find out later, he himself was forced to organize “taking in red.” Now, in order to suppress this case, I was exposed to the sum of 50 thousand dollars. “Otherwise, the prison term of two years is jeopardized, probably, we will have to pay,” the businessman told the “Country”.
He also says that inspectors “from above” lower the amounts that need to be knocked out of entrepreneurs. So they get out of their way, as they can, coming up with more and more new schemes, – complains the businessman.
And the question is – what is better: to pay off or try to defend their interests in the courts – remains open. The lawyer and managing partner of Suprema lex, Viktor Moroz, says that there have been much more cases against law enforcement agencies.
“Sometimes the courts already even exact damages for business from law enforcers, but as a whole it is still difficult to fight a law enforcement vehicle because courts are on their side,” the expert concluded.
The information is taken from: https://strana.ua/articles/analysis/158077-chto-stoit-za-obyskami-v-okko-i-massovymi-proverkami-biznesa-po-vsej-ukraine.html