A gambler was appointed as head of Ukrainian tax office. It backfired spectacularly.

Ukraine is one of the poorest nations in Europe. It wasn’t so a mere five or ten years ago but the trend to impoverishment was established long time ago. Traditionally it is written off to Russian aggression pointed at the independent and Western-oriented nation. But it is only an excuse. It is not Russia that makes Ukrainian statesmen still from the country’s tight budget. It’s not Putin that makes the government to chose a leader of the tax office out from gamblers and tax evaders. But as wild as it seem it is true: the head of the Ukrainian tax office is Sergey Verlanov. A gambler and a person with dubious ties and the whole own tax evasion empire at disposal.

Sergey Verlanov was chosen as a head of the tax office in a procedure that is widely viewed as rigged. The criteria was tailored to fit for him and no other person has passed. Oksana Markova, minister of finance is behind Sergey Verlanov, her former deputy. Then-prime minister Groysman maybe also a supporter of the Verlanov candidacy.

Tax office fell under control of Vasily Kostyuk, a long time friend and student years and groupmate. Verlanov and Kostyuk established an entire ring of the fake companies to launder money:

It’s wild even by Ukrainian standards. It is first time the head of State Tax Service is personally involved in the money laundering, tax evasion and serious fraud. It seems that without friendly foreign intervention of the US embassy Ukraine just can’t sort such things out.

Sergey Verlanov is an avid poker player. Maybe some card debts are explaining his risky behavior, but is is definitely not the reason to keep them right next to the money inflow.

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