Two Ukrainian fugitives arrested in Phuket over US tax evasion scandal

Photo via ดาวแปดแฉก Facebook

Two Ukrainian nationals wanted for fraud and tax evasion in the US were arrested in Phuket on Tuesday. The men fled to Thailand after warrants for their arrest were issued in Florida earlier this month. The pair are accused of providing employment for hundreds of illegal immigrants in America from 2007 – 2021 and evading $10 million in employment taxes. The arrests were announced at 11am today in a press conference held jointly by the Royal Thai Police and the US Department of Homeland Security, or the DHS.

The DHS requested coordination from the Royal Thai Police to help locate and arrest 37 year old Oleksandr Yurchyk and 39 year old Oleg Olynyk after officers from the Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) discovered the men had fled the US and entered Thailand on tourist visas.

Oleksandr and Oleg owned multiple recruitment companies in Florida where they arranged for hundreds of illegal immigrants to work in hotels, bars and restaurants from 2007 – 2021. The total employment value equated to 2.25 billion baht and the pair allegedly evaded $10 million, or 337 million baht, in employment taxes.

The men will be escorted back to the US where they will be prosecuted according to the law.

The arrests were announced this morning by Regional Attaché of the DHS Eric McLoughlin and Commissioner of Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau Police Lt. General Jirapop Phuridej.

Jirapop commented on the international cooperation required to catch the criminals…

“The Royal Thai Police always coordinates with foreign countries because crime today can be transnational. Therefore, networks must be created to combat crimes that occur.”

ukrainians arrested phuket

ukrainians arrested phuket

ukrainians arrested phuket


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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.