The same day that the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company completed their acquisition of Mriya Agro Holding in Ukraine, the holding’s former co-owner, Mykola Huta, was extradited to Ukraine. Huta is being accused of defrauding Mriya for over $100 million.
Switzerland handed over the fugitive Huta, who had been on Interpol’s wanted list for large-scale fraud, to Ukrainian law enforcers on November 5th, stated Deputy Prosecutor General Yevhen Yenin. Earlier in September, Swiss authorities denied Huta political asylum.
Once listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Mriya defaulted in 2014 after it had failed to make its bonds interest payments. The Huta family -founders Ivan and Klavdiya and their sons Mykola, CEO, and Andriy, member of board- fled Ukraine having stolen over $100 million of investors’ money.
The 2012 audit by the Ukrainian investment house Millennium Capital warned that the company had cooked its books using inflated production volumes, questionable deals on land lease rights at unreasonably high prices, and undisclosed third party transactions.
According to an article on kyivpost.com¸ Mriya controls over 150,000 hectares of farmland in central and western Ukraine, as well as four grain elevators, two plants, a potato storage area and numerous equipment.