Co-owner of RosUkrEnergo denies connection to Mogilevich
Dmitry Firtash gave an interview to Russian business daily Vedomosti.
Russian police arrested Mogilevich – who is also wanted by FBI for racketeering, securities fraud, mail fraud and money-laundering - in connection with a tax-evasion probe of the owners of a cosmetic-shop chain, the AP reports.
Firtash was often accused by Russian media of connections with the crime boss.
"For me, the connections made between these incidents and the RosUkrEnergo company are completely incomprehensible. I thought that all these accusations had remained in the past," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Mogilevich is a notorious organized crime boss who is believed to control the largest Russian Mafia syndicate in the world. His business activities are alleged to include arms dealing, drug trafficking, prostitution and money laundering. He is nicknamed "The Brainy Don", because of his business abilities and because he holds a degree in Economics from the Lviv University.
RosUkrEnergo is a Swiss-registered venture company that transports natural gas from Turkmenistan to East European countries. 50 percent of the company is owned by Gazprom, through its daughter Swiss-registered ARosgas Holding A.G. and another 50 percent by Raiffeisen Investment AG through its Swiss-registered Centragas Holding A.G., acting on behalf of a consortium of Ukrainian businessmen (who have refused to name themselves).
The company was created in 2004 to replace Eural Trans Gas. Until 2006 the company acted as a middleman between Turkmenistan and Ukraine . The company also sells Turkmenistan gas to Poland . Due to new agreement between Gazprom and Naftohaz Ukrainy, starting 2006 the company will supply all of Ukraine's natural gas imports from Russia and other Central Asian countries, in addition to Turkmenistan .