Security Service of Ukraine Blocks Charitable Work of Investohills’ IDP Assistance Center in Zaporizhia
The Security Service of Ukraine is blocking the charitable activities of Investohills Internally Displaced Persons Assistance Center (“Center”) in Zaporizhia. At its request, the State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine blocked the Center’s bank accounts. By doing so, they suspended payments and endangered the operation of the shelter facility, currently housing for free over 100 IDPs from Mariupol and other cities of Ukraine that have been taken by russian forces or affected by active hostilities.
Investohills Group engaged in supporting the army and providing humanitarian aid to affected people from the first days of the war. Within five months, the Group implemented several projects; for instance, it has funded at its expense an Assistance Center for IDPs who have lost everything to the war, look for shelter, and need assistance, and supports the Center’s operation. Currently, the Center houses 110 people, including 25 children.
However, staff members of the SBU led by the investigator V. S. Lytvyn came to search an office in Kyiv used by Investohills Vesta Financial Company (it rearranged and reequipped its office in Zaporizhia to accommodate the Center). The search was based on a ruling by investigative judge N. Zubachyk from Halytsky Raion Court in Lviv.
Back in the fall of 2021, the Security Service initiated preposterous criminal proceedings, accusing Investohills Helianthus, an international investment fund, and Investohills Group, of which Investohills Vesta is a part, of damaging Ukraine’s defense capability and economic security. Thus, instead of looking for spies and traitors on the eve of the war against russia, the Security Service of Ukraine was harassing businesses.
Even now, while the war is going on, killing Ukrainian soldiers and causing civilians to suffer, over 50 Security Service personnel entered an office of a commercial business to look for signs of high treason instead of finding something more appropriate to do.
According to the earlier statement by Investohills Helianthus on the occasion of the criminal proceedings and the show search of Investohills Group’s offices, “the absurdity and lack of professionalism on the part of the SBU investigators and prosecutors of the General Prosecutor’s Office went beyond not only boundaries of legal rules but also those of common sense.” Investigators accuse companies that buy out distressed assets from banks (NPLs) of initiating several court proceedings aiming to recover the overdue debt of businesses linked to the former owners of failed banks back in 2020–2021.
The unlawful search of July 14 resulted in the seizure of financial and business documents, corporate seals, and articles of association, including those of Rekord Development LLC, an Investohills Group’s subsidiary holding the Zaporizhia Assistance Center in its books. At the request of the Security Service, the State Financial Monitoring Service froze bank accounts of the Center, making it impossible for the company to pay for electricity and water for IDPs and reverting people to a condition of being in an occupied territory again. It will be a result of the thoughtless overreach by the Security Service that solves commercial issues at the expense of regular people instead of defending our state!
It is important to mention that Investohills Assistance Center has been supported by Ukraine’s most prominent charities, the social services of Zaporizhia city, celebrity sportsmen, and cultural figures who visit the Center regularly to give moral support to its residents. With their help, more and more IDPs find out about the Center, with more and more space provided for sheltering them on a constant basis. Thus, freezing the Center’s operations right now is an epitome of the lack of responsibility and indifference to human suffering.
It should be mentioned that Investohills Assistance Center is not the only large-scale charity project of Investohills Group. For example, the Group also helped to relocate production facilities of Temp-3000, a prominent body armor manufacturer.
Overall, Investohills Group provided financial and charitable aid to the tune of more than UAH 35 million. The Group’s next step will be to help Ukrainian businesses recover losses caused by the russian armed aggression, for instance, by representing the companies’ interests before foreign and international courts.
Thus, it is quite strange to observe the sham search by the Security Service and listen to its claims of high treason by a group of companies that makes everything within its reach to bring Ukraine’s victory over russian invaders closer, just like many other businesses do.
“In our opinion, some members of uniformed agencies demonstrate the signs of being corrupted and persecute business on request of oligarchs instead of performing their direct duties and repelling the russian aggression. Under the guise of the war, some so-called businessmen try to cleanse themselves of the debt to the state and recover control over their former businesses they have bankrupted themselves. Unfortunately, it is detrimental not only to the national economy but also to ordinary Ukrainians who need urgent assistance,” Andrii Volkov, Investohills Group founder and managing partner, believes.