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26 June, 2019

Authorities arrest Odesa businessman, blame him for botched road repairs across Ukraine

The Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, on June 25 announced it had detained Araik Amirkhanyan, a businessman from Odesa.

Amirkhanyan is accused of fraud, human smuggling, and financing the Russian-installed authorities of annexed Crimea. The businessman is currently under arrest and wasn’t available for comment.

The SBU claims Amirkhanyan had transferred $64 million to Russian officials in Crimea to illegally transport people from Ukraine.

The businessman is also accused of bribing Ukrainian state agencies to win state contracts for road repairs. His companies, Dorleader and Poltavabudtsentr, won some 200 state contracts for $763 million. Now the SBU says he conspired with officials at the Anti-Monopoly Committee to get the contracts. He also allegedly botched the road repairs, using poor-quality materials and causing the repaired roads to degenerate quickly.

“(Armikhanyan) blocked the government program to modernize objects of critical infrastructure in the transport industry,” reads the SBU press release.

The SBU vaguely suggested that the businessman is also suspected of other crimes, including violent ones.

This isn’t the first time Amirkhanyan has been detained. In April, authorities took the businessman into custody when he and a group of men came to a local office of the State Roads Service in Odesa and allegedly harassed its employees. Amirkhanyan was also reportedly wanted in 2017 for battery.

Kyiv Post

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