- A Ukrainian man who was reported dead in his home country was found alive and well, living a “lavish lifestyle” in France earlier this month.
- Europol said Tuesday it had arrested an unnamed Ukrainian citizen after they discovered him living in a castle in Burgundy that dates back to the 12th century.
- They said the man was living off laundered funds from a corruption scheme. During the October 5 raid they seized a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom and three works by Salvador Dalí.
A Ukranian man who had been declared dead in his home country was arrested earlier this month, after European Union law enforcement agents found him alive and well, living a “lavish lifestyle” in a French castle.
In an October 16 press release, Europol said the man, who they dubbed the “King of the Castle,” was living off money laundered from a corruption scheme.
French law enforcement officials first started investigating the man in January, after growing suspicious of his purchase of the Chateau de la Rochepot, near the town of Dijon in the Burgundy region. The castle, which dates back to the 12th century, is a popular tourist attraction and was previously owned by the descendants of former French President Marie François Sadi Carnot, who was assassinated in 1894, according to The Telegraph.
When they reached out to Ukrainian officials for more information on the castle’s new owners, they learned that he was wanted in his home country for large-scale corruption.
Due to the international element of the case, French authorities requested the aid of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, which discovered that the man had managed to evade capture by forging death certificates.
On October 5, French law enforcement and Europol agents arrested the man, seizing his castle, 4.6 million euros, a Rolls Royce Phantom, and three unnamed works by Salvador Dalí.
Europol officials did not release the identity of the man, but three sources who spoke with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty identified him as 36-year-old Dmytro Malynovskyy.
A Ukranian government website says Malynovskyy has been missing since August 2014, just six months after the Ukranian Revolution resulted in then-President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country after revelations of widespread governmental corruption.
Electoral records RFE/RL viewed showed Malynovskyy had previously run for the Odesa city council, in 2006, representing the same party Yanukovych belonged to.
RFE/RL reports that the fraud and forgery Malynovskyy was allegedly involved in regarded Defense Ministry property in Odesa.
Ukranian prosecutors are reportedly in the process of securing the suspect’s extradition. Three others associates were also arrested in the October 5 raid.