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Friday
Mar142014

Ukraine energy tycoon arrested in Austria for bribery 

Dmytro Firtash, courtesy of YouTubeA pro-Russia Ukrainian energy magnate has been arrested in Austria at the request of the United States following an FBI investigation.

Dmytro Firtash, 48, considered a gas-industry oligrach, was one of Ukraine's most powerful figures under the country's deposed President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Austrian Federal Crime Agency said based on years of investigations by the U.S. FBI, and an arrest warrant issued by a U.S. federal district court, Vienna prosecutors had ordered police to detain the businessman.

He was arrested Wednesday for allegedly paying bribes and forming a criminal organization.

The Independent quoted Timothy Ash, chief economist at Standard Bank plc, as describing Firtash's arrest as "an absolutely seismic development on so many different levels."

"Firtash is probably in the top two of Ukrainian oligarchs in terms of wealth and influence across borders," Ash said.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of the FCPA Blog and can be reached here.