Serbs arrest former associate of Zelenski, he fled with a pile of money and jewels

by   |  VIEW 5576

Serbs arrest former associate of Zelenski, he fled with a pile of money and jewels

A former aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Andriy Naumov, has been arrested in southern Serbia along with a German, allegedly his driver, on suspicion of money laundering. The Serbian Interior Ministry announced their arrest, saying that border police found 607,990 euros and 124,924 dollars in cash and two precious emeralds at the Presevo crossing with northern Macedonia.

They did not report any money or precious stones, although by law they had to and they are accused of acquiring both through criminal activities and trying to leave Serbia with them. Naumov and his driver face up to one to 12 years in prison, but Ukrainian Pravda writes that Naumov could reveal Ukrainian state secrets in exchange for freedom.

Until recently, he was one of the heads of the Ukrainian intelligence service SBU, until Zelenski fired him due to accusations of high treason. Naumov joined the SBU in 2019, and in July last year he was appointed head of the internal security department.

According to local media, he left Ukraine only a few hours before the start of the Russian invasion, and he sent his family abroad even earlier. Zelenski officially fired him in late March, claiming he had committed high treason, calling him an antihero who had broken his military word.

Brigadier General Andriy Olehovych Naumov went abroad hours before the entire Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. His family also appears to have left the country hours before the attack. His activities are currently being investigated by law enforcement under the offense of “treason”.

Naumov has already been involved in a journalistic investigation into the acquisition of expensive assets that do not match the official income of a civil servant. Zelensky did not elaborate on what had led to the two officials being dismissed, though he noted that under the Ukrainian army’s disciplinary statute officers who “have not decided where their homeland is, who violate the military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people as regards the protection of our state, its freedom and independence” would “inevitably be deprived of senior military ranks”.