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Investment firm founder detained in unlawful land privatization probe

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations detains Concorde Capital founder, Ihor Mazepa, in connection with alleged unlawful land privatization involving the site of the Kyiv Hydroelectric Power Plant.
Ihor Mazepa
Ihor Mazepa. Credit: Concorde Capital website

Ihor Mazepa, the founder of Concorde Capital investment company, was detained at the Ukraine-Poland border checkpoint, Concorde Capital announced on 18 January.

On 19 January, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations (DBR) confirmed the detention of Mazepa, his brother, and two other individuals in connection with a scheme involving the unlawful privatization of land belonging to the hydro-technical structures of the Kyiv Hydroelectric Power Plant. The DBR alleges that the scheme organizers attempted to seize 300 hectares valued at over 1 billion UAH.

The focus of this investigation is on the nearly 50-hectare Goodlife Park complex. According to the LUN portal, the cheapest cottage available in Goodlife Park, measuring 220 square meters, is currently priced at approximately UAH 25.3 million (approx $670.000). On the OLX platform are listings for fully renovated 500-square-meter cottages priced at UAH 87 million (approx $2.3 million). Within the Goodlife Park area is a yacht club, mini-hotel, restaurant, children’s park, sports facilities, and fitness center.

On the same day, the Pechersk District Court in Kyiv ruled that Mazepa would remain in custody until 27 February. The court partially granted the prosecutor’s request, setting bail at over UAH 349 million (approx $9.2 million), while the prosecution had initially requested UAH 700 million (approx $18.6 million), Hromadske reported from the courtroom.

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Both the prosecutor’s office and the DBR have taken the first step towards a dangerous precedent in the country, where an honest businessman who does not fear and does not hide his companies behind secretaries and drivers can be held accountable for entrepreneurial initiative,” Mazepa stated after the court hearing.

When asked whether he intends to post bail, Mazepa replied, “The morning is wiser than the evening; there is time until Monday to consider what to do next.” He also emphasized his intention to file an appeal. The defense argued that the detention was unlawful, contending that there were no grounds for it and asserting that Mazepa crossed the border not to evade authorities but for legitimate purposes — to attend the Davos forum in Switzerland.

The defense also claimed that the protocol of detention indicated that Mazepa had attempted to evade law enforcement. The lawyer asserted that the border detention was a “staged setup to characterize Mazepa’s departure from the country as an evasion of pre-trial investigation.

In contrast, the prosecution argued that, according to the investigation, Mazepa decided to leave the country upon learning of his impending criminal liability. The prosecutor cited risks, including the possibility of hiding from law enforcement and influencing witnesses, as reasons for requesting detention with the option of posting 700 million UAH bail.

The defense team also requested the involvement of sureties, but the court rejected the request.

In 1997, Ihor Mazepa began his career as an investment banker at the Russian-American investment company Prospect Investments and founded his own company, Concorde Capital, seven years later. From July to September 2014, he was a member of the supervisory board of Russian Alfa-Bank, run by Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven. From November 2016 to August 2018, he served on the supervisory board of Ukrsotsbank. Mazepa was considered one of the closest allies of Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Tihipko and was part of the “Sylna Ukraina” party list headed by Tihipko during the 2014 elections.

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