CG4DU requests James Flaherty to apply money laundering laws against members of Ukraine's regime

Canadian Group for
Democracy in Ukraine

Groupe Canadienne
pour la Démocratie
en Ukraine

Канадськa Група
сприяння демократії
в Україні

January 1, 2014


The Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine has requested James Flaherty, Minister of Finance, to advise on progress in applying the International Standards for Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation against the members of Ukraine’s regime who fall under the provisions.

The Minister is responsible for ensuring that Canada is not a haven for money laundering and other criminal activities for “politically exposed persons” (PEPs); politicians and their immediate families involved in questionable financial activities.

“We have seen the lists prepared by Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Centre and others, of the PEPs from Ukraine. The Yanukovych, Azarov and Kliuyev clans lead the pack. It is reported that Olexander Yanukovych, son of President Viktor Yanukovych and Deputy Head of the Bank of Ukraine has increased his wealth by some 1000% this year. We have asked the Government of Canada to act,” says Oksana Bashuk Hepburn, member of the Group.

“Canada has about ten entities devoted to ensuring we are not a haven for criminal financial activities”, says Dr. Ihor Cap from Winnipeg. “We have asked these entities to tell us what concrete action they are taking against Ukraine’s PEPs.”

The Group is concerned that democracies including Austria, England, Cypress, the Caribbean are some of the prime havens sequestering the PEPs’ wealth and may not be living up to the terms of the International Standards. Canada is not exempt.

“It’s unacceptable that while the EuroMaidan goes into its second month of protests in the freezing cold against corruption and greed and the West cheers, Ukraine’s political ”leaders” are safe and warm and so is their money; in the West”, says the Group’s Myroslava Oleksiuk.

For further information please contact:
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
[email protected]

Letter to Hon. James Flaherty, Minister of Finance, Government of Canada

[email protected]

Buduchnist Credit
Union Account #62736

December 29, 2013

Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
Government of Canada
Parliament Hill,

[email protected]

Dear Minster,

We are certain that your Department and other Canadian Agencies, below, keenly follow the pro-European integrations demonstrations in Ukraine condemning the disregard of the will of the people by President Viktor Yanukovych. We appreciate Canada’s condemnation of his brutal response -- beatings, arrests, shootings -- of the protestors.

The prime targets for the atrocities are the front-line activists and journalists. According to the IMI, there were 101 such assaults against the journalists this year, 48 in the month of December alone. For comparison, all of 2012 had 65 recorded incidents. On Christmas Day, Tetiana Chornovol, an influential journalist from the leading internet news provider Ukrainska Pravda and EuroMaidan activist was accosted and brutally beaten. Her battered face is now the symbol of opposition to the President’s failed government.

Despite more than a month of massive anti-government protests, there has been insufficient pressure from Ukraine’s democratic friends on the perpetrators. They are holding on to power by escalating atrocities. We want this to stop before severe harm is done. Therefore we ask that Canada immediately take all the steps at its disposal to sanction the Yanukovych regime. One of the most effective may be to deal with acquired assets and money laundering of its politicians.

Various entities in Ukraine have published lists of “politically exposed persons” -- politicians involved in questionable financial gains. Heading them are President Viktor Yanukovych and his sons, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his son, and the security czar Andriy Kliuyev and his brothers. Over 70 of Kliuyev’s companies in Ukraine are directly or partially tied to holdings in Austria, and dozens of offshore companies.

We ask, Minister, that Canada, together with other Western democracies, apply the International Standards for Combatting Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation against the members of Ukraine’s regime who fall under its provisions; that’s most, if not all of the top echelons in the presidential administration, judiciary and legislation. For example, Olexij Yanukovych, the President’s son has had business profits in excess of 1000% this year.

The stand for democracy in Ukraine is of concern to all democrats and needs to be vigorously supported. Our inability to respond to the evils of the Yanukovych regime only emboldens him and his runner, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. We ask Canada to move beyond words. Minister we ask you to take action: the mechanisms to do so are in place.

We will be in touch with your office to hear of progress on this critical matter.

With warmest regards and best wishes for the New Year,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Ihor Cap
Khrystyna Kulyasa
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Oksana Shmigelsky

RCMP Anti-Terrorism Financing Group
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Public Prosecution Service of Canada
Public Safety Canada (PSC)
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions

Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister
Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence
Ted Opitz, M.P.
James Bezan, M.P.
Peggy Nash, M.P.
Kevin Lamoureux, M.P.
Senator Raynell Andreychuk
Mark Warawa, M.P.
Robert Sopuck M.P.
Linda Duncan, M.P.
Ed Komarnicki, M.P.
Alexandrine Lantendresse M.P.
Wladyslaw Lizon, M.P.
Joy Smith, M.P.
H.E. Troy Lalushnyk
H.E. David Plunkett
Mr. Paul Grod, President Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Mr. Eugene Czolij, President Ukrainian World Congress