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Moldova sends extradition request to Ukraine for businessman accused of $ 20m theft

Moldova sends extradition request to Ukraine for businessman accused of $ 20m theftThe Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) of Moldova has sent a request to Ukraine for the extradition of Veaceslav Platon (Kobalev), who was earlier put on the Interpol's wanted list by Ukraine.

A PGO representative at the Kyiv City Appeals Court reviewing Platon's arrest appeal said Moldova's PGO had sent an extradition request and is now preparing court materials for Platon's extradition.

As earlier reported, on July 28, 2016, Kyiv's Pechersk District Court ruled on the arrest of Platon, who was detailed in Kyiv in line with Moldova's request via Interpol. Platon was put on the international wanted list and, after several hours, was detained in Kyiv by agents of Ukraine's State Security Service.

Ukraine's PGO confirmed this information, saying also that Platon was found with a fake Ukrainian passport made out to Viacheslav Kobalev. Platon is a citizen of Moldova and Russia.

In Moldova, Platon is accused of participating in a coordinated theft from Banca de economii SA (Moldova's state savings bank). He is accused, in particular, of receiving and not returning a LEU 800 million credit (the equivalent of $20 million).

Media reported that Platon was one of the main coordinators of the withdrawal of tens of millions of dollars from Russia to offshore companies via Moldovan banks. A former head of the national anticorruption centre Michael Hoffman said more than $23 billion of Russian origin was laundered. Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs earlier said about $10.9 billion was laundered via "the Moldovan scheme" last year. Other sources said the amount was from $18 billion to $19 billion.

Platon's defence attorney Denis Shkyptan said that Platon is a citizen of Ukraine and therefore cannot be extradited to Moldova.
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