A former member of Ukraine’s parliament was arrested Tuesday at a ritzy French ski resort on charges he embezzled more than $100 million from a bank he used to head, Kyiv authorities say.
Kostyantyn Zhevago was apprehended on an international warrant by French police in the Alpine getaway of Courchevel, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations announced.
Zhevago, who left parliament in 2019 after serving for two decades, is suspected with other top managers in the disappearance of $113 million from Ukraine’s now-defunct Finance & Credit Bank.
The prosecutor’s office in the nearby town of Chambery confirmed the arrest and said Zhevago would appear in court Wednesday or Thursday for the first stage in the extradition request process. The prosecutor’s office is awaiting documents from Ukraine supporting the extradition demand, and would not comment further on the case.
Courchevel is one of the most luxurious destinations in the Alps and has hosted A-list celebrities like Leonardo Di Caprio — as well as Russian oligarchs. The Post reported in March that tourist money from the latter has dried up after sanctions were imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Zhevago was named “Europe’s youngest self-made billionaire” by Forbes in 2008 and is considered one of the richest Ukrainian oligarchs.
Prosecutors first brought charges against Zhevago in 2019, issuing an arrest warrant for the billionaire and his associates and seizing his assets. An international arrest warrant followed in 2021.
The arrest was announced on the same day French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu made his first trip to Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion by Russia. His office said the visit was not linked to Zhevago’s arrest.
Lecornu arrived in Kyiv just days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an appeal to members of the US Congress to provide more defense aid to the war-torn nation.
The House and Senate voted last week to approve another $44.9 billion in aid to Ukraine as part of a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill that awaits President Biden’s signature.
With Post wires