April 29 (Bloomberg) -- U.S Attorney General Eric Holder and U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May met in London today to find ways to help the Ukrainian government recover stolen assets.
“This process will take a long time,” Holder told a news conference at the start of the two-day meeting. “Just because you don’t see immediate results doesn’t mean people aren’t feverishly working.”
Holder said his message to those involved in stealing Ukrainian assets was that “you can run but you can’t hide” and called on other European Union nations to join the campaign. “Decisions have to be made: which side are you on. Will you stand with the Ukrainian people?” he said. Ukraine’s acting prosecutor general, Oleh Makhnitsky, said billions of hryvnia had been stolen.
The attorney general announced the setting-up of a 12-strong “kleptocracy squad” within the FBI to “aggressively investigate and prosecute corruption cases, not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world.”
The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office said yesterday it opened a criminal probe into money laundering from suspected corruption in Ukraine and froze $23 million of assets in connection with the case.
Holder also said the U.S. is prepared to impose further sanctions beyond those already announced if Russia fails to “cease its illegal intervention and actions in Ukraine.”
Both the U.S. and the European Union have announced new measures in the past two days to protest Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org Eddie Buckle, Thomas Penny