September 4, 2019 / 10:49 AM / 14 days ago

Ukraine investigation finds ArcelorMittal owes $355 mln -Interfax

KIEV, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Steelmaker ArcelorMittal owes 9 billion hyrvnias ($355 million) to Ukrainian authorities, Interfax Ukraine reported on Wednesday, citing the head of the government’s large taxpayers’ office following an investigation.

The probe found that ArcelorMittal had paid too little land tax and had dealings with non-transparent companies, Interfax reported.

“As of today, a massive audit of the enterprise has been completed. We determine claims of 9 billion hryvnias,” tax office boss Evgen Bambizov was quoted as saying, adding that the probe’s findings would be passed on to law enforcement agencies.

ArcelorMittal said it would comment on the investigation later on Wednesday.

The announcement comes weeks after ArcelorMittal, Ukraine’s biggest private foreign investor, was hit by an environmental investigation at its plant in the city of Kryvyi Rih.

That investigation caused some concern among investors at a time when new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is from Kryvyi Rih and criticised ArcelorMittal in July, is pitching to make the country more business friendly. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Matthias Williams; editing by Jason Neely)

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