Dutchman Keimpe Reitsma (pictured above) has a letter of attorney to become manager and representative of “Viva Telecom Bulgaria” LTD. However, the Commercial Register has refused to enter him as procurator. A check by Bivol further shows that Reitsma is a proxy of the wanted by Interpol oligarch Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, accused of financial fraud and of funding separatists in Donetsk. The Interior Minister of Ukraine, Arsen Avakov, has personally announced the existence of the Interpol red notice for Ivanyushchenko on his Facebook page.
Reitsma is also Director of InterV – the Luxembourg company owner of Viva Telecom Bulgaria. But his entry has been blocked by the Sofia City Court at the request of Empreno Ventures of Russian Dmitry Kossarev, Transmedia writes. The reason is pending cases. The site suggests that Reitsma is the representative of the interests of the Russian bank VTB. It has financed the purchase of the Bulgarian Telecommunication Company (BTC) by Spas Roussev, but хе still cannot take possession. An investigation of Bivol exposes other interesting connections of the Dutch lawyer.
Keimpe Reitsma is associated with Ukrainian oligarch Yuri Ivanyushchenko, aka “Yura Enakievskiy”. He is currently in disgrace, wanted by Interpol and by the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office for illegal enrichment and other crimes.
In September 2016, former Georgian President and former Governor of the Odessa Region, Mikheil Saakashvili, stated in a television broadcast that Ivanyushchenko has financed with 800,000 US dollars a month former Ukrainian President Yanukovych and has financially supported separatists in Donbas.
The first documented traces of the relationship between Reitsma and Ivanyushchenko date from 2011, when the Ukrainian oligarch was in the peak of his glory – lawmaker from the Party of Regions, tipped as close to President Yanukovych and as having huge financial resources. Even then, however, he was included in the black list of Washington of individuals banned from traveling to the United States.
In March 2011, Ivanyushchenko acquired 25% of the shares of the metallurgical giant “Azovmash” in Mariupol from another MP from the Party of Regions -Aleksandr Savchuk. Experts, quoted by Kommersant Ukraine, evaluate the transfer at 175 million US dollars. Ivanyushchenko himself boasted before media that “Azovmash” was becoming his core business in Ukraine.
The technical acquisition of the shares has been executed through a Cypriot company, Totalserve, which employs Reitsma since 2010. It is the nominal owner of Wessanen Trading Limited, which holds 50% of the shares of “Azovmash”. Totalserve has transferred part of its shares to two other companies: 20% to Alicom Investment and 21% to Ampezza Limited. On November 16, 2011, the son of Yuri Ivanyushchenko – Arsen – was listed as the end owner of Ampezza Limited. The owner of Alicom is another offshore company from the British Virgin Islands, which is also associated with the family of Ivanyushchenko. After the transfer, Wessanen Trading Limited was renamed Azovmashinvest Holding Limited. On October 22, 2013, Keimpe Reitsma became Director of the company and remains such to date.
In 2012, Savchuk passed away and was succeeded in the business by his widow Svetlana. The company has done well and in 2012 it exported a record amount of train cars to Russia. But after the Euromaidan protests and the bloody separatist conflict in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, Russia was closed for Ukrainian exports which turned into a disaster for “Azovmash”. The company is not currently active and owes more than 700 million US dollars to Ukrainian and Russian banks, including VTB. Since December 23, 2016, the accounts of the company are under lien over unpaid wages. But, according to Ukrainian media, the owners of “Azovmash” are draining it and the revenues from sales of equipment are being hidden from the creditors through subsidiaries.
What is Reitsma’s role in the management of the company owner of BTC? Is there a connection between the owners or creditors of “Azovmash” and those of “BTC”? Bivol has sent questions to the office of the Luxembourg-based lawyer, but so far we have not received a response.
#Who wants its BTC, while Bulgaria remains idle?
The battle for BTC has been going on for years between circles close to banker Tsvetan Vasilev (majority shareholder in the now-collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank, CCCB – editor’s note) and circles close to controversial lawmaker and media mogul, Delyan Peevski. Kosarev is a proxy of Vasilev’s circle. He replaced in that role Belgian entrepreneur Pierre Luvrier, whose close ties with Russian oligarch Malofeev were first exposed by Bivol. The interests of Peevski’s circle converge with those of former Finance Minister and now manager of VTB Capital in Bulgaria – Milen Velchev – and VTB itself. Their main proxy is Spas Roussev (on whose yacht Velchev was photographed playing cards with organized crime bosses).
The inclusion of Reitsma with his impressive track record of top manager probably intends to deflect questions about the dubious origin of the money with which Roussev acquired VIVACOM. The scheme failed anyway. Attempts to list Roussev and Velchev as managers are still continuing, but remain unsuccessful.
In one of the recordings from “Yaneva Gate“, the close to Delyan Peevski lawyer Momchil Mondeshki says downright that BTC belongs to “Delyan”. Though this has not been formally proven, there are clear indicators of the growing influence of Peevski in BTC. It is a fact is that the controlled by the MP Channel 3 TV was recently placed at the top of the list of cable channels offered by VIVACOM, immediately after the public BNT, and the two largest private national TVs – bTV and Nova TV, replacing at the fourth position TV7.
In the fall of 2016, Russian media published allegations that Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has asked a 50-million commission in order for the BTC deal with VTB to pass. Beyond these speculations, it is clear that the Bulgarian State is not making much effort to cash in on the telecom as one of the most attractive assets of CCB for which taxpayers shelled 3 billion levs. There are opportunities for this. According to information that Bivol published two years ago, the French company Orange has been expressing continued interest in the telecom. However, strategic investors of such scale are careful about their image and unlikely to become involved in a deal with the circles around #WHO and a sanctioned Russian bank. The growing pressure to officially list new managers of BTC also shows panic that the “ruling Borisov – Peevski tandem” is to become history soon, the positions of the corpulent oligarch will be shaken and the coveted BTC prey might be snatched by somebody else.
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