KYIV – Ukraine’s Security Service, together with the Economic Security Bureau and the State Bureau of Investigations, conducted a series of searches of Ukrainian businessmen and former high-ranking officials.
According to the Ukrainian press, on February 1, searches took place at the homes of businessman Igor Kolomoisky, former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Deputy Defense Minister Bohdan Khmelnitsky, Chief from the Kiev tax service Vyacheslav Shapovalov and other officials.
On Facebook, the Security Service of Ukraine reports that it revealed large-scale schemes for the embezzlement of 40 billion hryvnias [около одного миллиарда долларов по коммерческому курсу] former management of PJSC Ukrnafta and PJSC Ukrtatnafta.
“It has been established that illegal mechanisms are linked to tax evasion and money laundering. Recall that PJSC Ukrnafta is the largest oil-producing company in Ukraine, and PJSC Ukrtatnafta is an oil refinery.
It indicates that ten episodes of criminal activity are documented in the context of criminal proceedings: in particular, the withdrawal of large shipments of petroleum products from affiliated companies, tax evasion, the creation of bad debts from a refinery oil and oil-producing companies, which leads to the depreciation and decrease in the value of their assets.
According to the investigation, this criminal activity was carried out for the benefit of the true owners and beneficiaries of the companies.
Based on the results of the investigative actions of the senior management of PJSC Ukrtatnafta, suspicions of criminal offenses were announced.
clerk’s wish list
The State Investigation Bureau during a search of the acting head of the tax service in Kiev, Oksana Datiy, found a wish list, including earning a million dollars, a sable coat and a Breguet watch, reports Ukrayinska Pravda on February 1, citing its sources.
The State Bureau of Investigations writes on its website that the head of Kiev’s tax service was exposed on multi-million dollar transactions.
“She, along with other members of the commission, without legal basis, made a decision on whether or not to meet the taxpayer risk criteria, which led to serious consequences,” the website notes. ‘agency.
It is pointed out that SBI agents are investigating the acting lifestyle. head of the main department of the State Tax Service in Kiev: it turned out that she had three apartments in the capital worth about a million dollars, a house near Kiev worth about $200,000, two cars worth about $150,000.
UNIAN also notes that the State Investigation Bureau suspects Igor Nasalyk, the former head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, whose official negligence resulted in budget losses of nearly 1.5 billion UAH in favor of one of the gas oligarchs.
The leader of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction, David Arakhamia, wrote on Twitter that he “will update the public on the announced spring plantings”. He noted that “the country will change during the war”.
“If someone is not ready for change, then the state itself will come to help him change. – David Arakhamia underlined and pointed the finger at the “dismissal of the entire management of the Customs Service”.
In the second half of January 2023, a series of resignations and dismissals took place in the country in the government and in a number of regional military administrations. This was announced by the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Oleg Nemchinov in his telegram channel and said that the personnel decisions were taken at a meeting of the Ukrainian government on January 24.
The fight against corruption is the desire of society
Taras Zagorodniy, managing partner of the National Anti-Crisis Group, believes that the mass searches cannot be explained solely by the authorities’ desire to fight against phenomena such as corruption.
“The authorities and Zelensky are feeling the pressure of society, especially realizing that many people are dying at the front, and Zelensky is thinking of a second term, and the trail of these corruption scandals does not bring his election victory closer. In fact, a lot of resources are stolen, which could be used to support the economy and the military. After all, everything related to military operations is funded from the budget,” Taras Zagorodny told the media Russian service correspondent.
Financial aid from foreign partners, he notes, is used to fund social programs.
Taras Zahorodniy notes that an external factor – the demands of the United States and its partners to start fighting corruption – could also lead to raids by Ukrainian government officials and businesses.
“It’s a bad signal for corrupt officials and the next step, if the authorities fail to cope, will be some sort of arrest overseas and possibly their conviction in the United States. And it is clear that the topic of corruption constantly strikes the Biden administration – the more corruption scandals in Ukraine, the more questions there are, why are you helping this country? – notes Taras Zagorodny.
Beware of Wartime Corruption
Yury Smelyansky, an expert in politics and economics from the Maidan of Foreign Rights Foundation, believes that in the case of the search reported in the press, businessman Igor Kolomoisky should consider criminal prosecution in the United States.
“A criminal case has been opened against him in the state of Delaware. It’s dragging on for a long time, but sooner or later it will be over. Recently he was not allowed to travel abroad and went into hiding in Ukraine And it is obvious that he will be called to account there.As part of the recent visits to Ukraine by delegations of members of Congress and the head of the CIA, there may also have been an ultimatum on the need to take a clear position regarding the ongoing criminal cases in the United States against Ukrainian citizens. According to various sources, in addition to Kolomoisky, other names of representatives of the Ukrainian authorities appear in these criminal cases, ”Yury Smelyansky explains to the correspondent of the Russian media service.
He notes that in the conditions of war “by dozens of orders”, the requirements for attitude to taxes and budget, how society supports and helps the armed forces of all its strengths, should be strengthened.
“Meanwhile, there are more and more corruption scandals in power. In fact, it is a crime against national security in a situation where we are forced to look to our western partners for help, and at the same time corruption scandals are becoming almost the everyday norm. “Says Yury Smelyansky.
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