Ukrainian industrialist Firtash posts 125 million euro bail

VIENNA Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:37am EDT

Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's richest men, is seen in Kiev May 18, 2010. REUTERS/Maks Levin

Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine's richest men, is seen in Kiev May 18, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Maks Levin

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Ukrainian industrialist Dmytro Firtash has posted 125 million euros ($174 million) in bail and is being held in Austria for possible extradition to the United States while authorities check the origins of the money, a Vienna court said on Thursday.

One of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs, Firtash, 48, was arrested in Vienna on March 12 at the request of U.S. authorities, which have been investigating him since 2006 for suspected corruption.

The court said the money had been transferred on Wednesday. The bank handling the account had reported the funds to federal money-laundering investigators, who would check where the money came from. "For this reason (Firtash) has not been released from custody," it said in a statement.

The Federal Criminal Bureau said it was looking into the matter and could not say how long the review might last.

BAWAG PSK, the bank handling the transfer, had no immediate comment.

The detention of Firtash, 48, whose business concerns in gas trading and chemicals thrived under ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, is the highest-profile arrest in the wake of turmoil which installed new pro-Western authorities in power in Kiev in February. ($1 = 0.7189 Euros)

(Reporting by Michael Shields and Angelika Gruber; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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