A prominent Ukrainian Jewish politician linked to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of running an organized crime organization, according to local media.
Hennadiy Korban, who served under Kolomoisky as deputy governor of Dnepropetrovsk region until earlier this year and currently heads the UKROP political party, was detained during a massive raid by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) that also targeted the Kolomoisky linked Fund for the Defense of the Country and the office of Kolomoisky confidant and legislator Boris Filatov.
UKROP issued a statement saying that the arrest and searches of the party’s offices and the homes of party officials were an act of “political repression.”
Korban is accused of involvement in several kidnappings when he served as deputy governor of Dnipropetrovsk in 2014-15. He is also accused of stealing about $1.7 million from a fund earmarked for Ukrainian soldiers fighting against Russia-back separatists in eastern Ukraine.
About 500 security officers were involved in the operation, and an unknown number of other arrests were also made.
Kolomoyskiy, Ukraine’s second-richest man, served briefly as head of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and was credited with preventing the spread of separatist sentiment in the region.
But President Petro Poroshenko dismissed him in 2015, accusing him of setting up a private militia and trying to take over a state-affiliated oil company.