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Od bankrota “Mrije” do prijevare s nekretninama: Zašto se Interpol zainteresirao za ukrajinskog prevaranta Andrija Gutu

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The bankruptcy story of one of the most famous and successful agricultural holding enterprises in Ukraine, “Mriia”, has touched not only Ukraine, but Europe as well. Because of illegal money laundering it has been referred to as one of “the biggest scams.” Though, few people know that this story had its continuation in a slightly different plane – writes Gary Cartwright.

“Mriia” going bankrupt

Mriia, tvrtka koju je osnovao Ivan Guta 2002. godine, dvanaest godina kasnije razvila se u veliku prijevaru zahvaljujući kojoj su međunarodni vjerovnici, uključujući tvrtke kao što su IFC, Alfa Bank, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank DBU, Erste, FUIB, opljačkani za 1.3 dolara milijarde od strane obitelji Guta. 

Ivan Guta’s son, Andriy, played a key role in it. In 2008, he was appointed executive director of “Mriia”, taking over the entire strategic and operational management of the company. After a while, the company, being successful only on paper, entered international exchanges, managing to attract major investors. The money received from investors was withdrawn through eight offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands. 

These 8 companies, according to the documents, belonged to the Gutas. Through the scheme of buying shares in the agricultural holding “Mriia”, Andriy Guta actually transferred funds from one of his “pockets” to another. According to some sources, the total amount was about 220 million dollars. In 2014, “Mriia” declared bankruptcy.

In fact, Andriy Guta left “out of business” the Ukrainian state, thousands of employees of “Mriia” Agricultural Holding, international creditors, as well as European banks Credit Suisse and the Bank of Cyprus, through the accounts in which he conducted his scams. But instead of being held accountable to the law, Andriy Guta simply changed his field of activity.

Prevara s nekretninama

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After the bankruptcy of the country’s largest agricultural holding, Andriy Guta got into the real estate. He joined the development company “Development Creative Group” (DCG), also known as “NK Group” or as the brand “Naberezhnyi Kvartal”. NK Group was founded by Khmelnytsky businessman Yuri Suslyak and has been active in the Ukrainian real estate market since 2014.

By 2016, NK Group had built residential complexes in 19 regions of Ukraine, most of which, namely 55 objects, actually immediately acquire the reputation of “problematic”. Guta, together with Suslyak, set up subsidiaries to which money was transferred from nearly fifteen “Naberezhny Kvartal” brand cooperatives. Subsequently, the money received from ordinary Ukrainians, who invested in the construction of the residential complex, was cashed out. 

U konačnici, zbog grubih i sustavnih kršenja, regionalni Državni odbor za gradnju ukinuo je ranije izdane građevinske dozvole, a izgradnja mnogih stambenih kompleksa je obustavljena.

Manipulacije s rokovima i komunikacijama 

In the NK Group, Andriy Guta was directly responsible for carrying out communications in the housing estate, as well as for working with contractors. In fact, he had unlimited access to investors’ funds, the ability to distribute them at his discretion and to manipulate with the timing of construction, connection of communications and commissioning of facilities.

A striking example is the construction of Housing and Construction Corporation “Grandbud”, brand “Naberezhny quarter”, in Mykolaiyv, at 18 Mistostroiiteliv Street, which was managed by Andriy Guta.

Initially, the first section was scheduled to be completed in Q1 of 2016 and the second section in Q4 of 2016. Guta had the resources and ability to influence the deadlines, and he took advantage of it. On February 24, 2016, a declaration of readiness for the first section was filed with the State Construction Architectural Inspectorate, but the utilities had not yet been connected to the building. Later, it turned out that the second section lacked at least 8 million hryvnias for completion – the construction of the housing estate was delayed.

Already in November 2016, when, according to the contract, the construction of two sections of “Grandbud” housing cooperative was to be completed, the shareholders of the housing cooperative initiated a meeting to address the issue of violations of the deadlines for the construction of the apartment complex. The investors demanded to transfer the funds that Guta received from them to complete the construction of the first and second sections. Corresponding demand letters were sent to Andriy Guta, the owner of “NK Group” and “Naberezhny Quarter” brand Yuri Suslyak, as well as to various state and local authorities. There was no adequate response. Moreover, Andriy Guta disappeared along with investors’ money. At the same time, the contractor was changed to “Mykolaiyv Development”, and the construction site froze.

Slične sheme provedene su u drugim ukrajinskim gradovima:

  • Kharkiv: “NK Group” facility was commissioned, but there were no communications: water, sewerage, gas and electricity;
  • Rivne: objekt je izgrađen bez projektne dokumentacije;
  • Ternopil: dio stanova kuće izgrađene s brojnim prekršajima imao je status privremenog stanovanja;
  • Odesa: Državno povjerenstvo za arhitekturu i graditeljstvo zaustavilo je izgradnju stambenog kompleksa 

Another puzzle of the construction “pyramid”

Ljudi koji su odlučili kupiti stanove u tim naseljima ostali su razočarani. Suočili su se s istim problemima kao i investitori drugih nekretnina, kojima se bavio Andriy Guta: loša kvaliteta gradnje i materijala, poteškoće s uknjižbom prava vlasništva, komunikacijama, problemi s organizacijom teritorija oko stambenog kompleksa, kašnjenja u izgradnje i prekoračenja rokova, zahtijevajući 100% plaćanje: 50% odmah, 50% u roku od 60 dana, iako u trenutku komunikacije s predstavnicima nositelja projekta tvrtka nije imala relevantne dokumente i dozvole za gradnju.

In total, Guta, Suslyak and their partners withdrew 120.6 million hryvnas of shareholders through the cooperatives of the brand “Naberezhny Kvartal”. And this is only what we were able to establish – in reality, it is possible that investors were inflicted much more damage.

Guta se nakon stečaja poljoprivrednog gospodarstva Mriia i nekretninskih muljaža preselio u Švicarsku, gdje ne samo da živi, ​​već se aktivno bavi i startupima. Interpol je 2020. godine formirao međunarodni zahtjev agencijama za provođenje zakona u cijelom svijetu da pronađu i privremeno uhite Andrija Gutu, no taj dokument još uvijek je na čekanju u Švicarskoj. Posljedično, vlasti zemlje još uvijek nisu odobrile zahtjev za izručenje, što do sada omogućuje Andriju Guti da izbjegne odgovornost. Glavno pitanje je: Koliko dugo?  

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