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16 Oct, 2018 15:20

Ukrainian fugitive who faked own death found living lavishly in fancy French castle

Ukrainian fugitive who faked own death found living lavishly in fancy French castle

A Ukrainian man who forged his own death certificate to avoid corruption charges has been arrested in France, where he was living in a Dijon castle decorated with Salvador Dali paintings and a garage of vintage Rolls Royces.

The EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol, announced the arrest in a statement released on Tuesday. Identifying the suspect as a “high-profile fugitive” from Ukraine, the press release states the suspect had been living a “lavish lifestyle” in a castle near Dijon, France. The French Gendarmerie, with support from Europol, seized assets worth over €4mn (over $4.6mn) during the arrest, including a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom and three works of art by Salvador Dali.

The Ukrainian was apparently wanted in his native country on corruption charges, but had somehow managed to evade authorities by forging his own death certificate. A French investigation into a suspicious transaction used to purchase the Burgundy castle later revealed that the presumably deceased criminal was in fact living like a king.

Faking your own death for less than honorable purposes appears to be an increasingly popular pastime in Ukraine.

In May, Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko faked his own death with the help of Ukraine’s security services, allegedly in an attempt to thwart his assassination at the hands of the Kremlin.

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