NABU, SAPO expose corruption in restoration sector, charge current MPs, businessman, company executives

NABU and SAPO, together with Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine - Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, as well as the head of the State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, implemented a large-scale operation to expose current MPs, officials, business representatives who offered undue advantage (money, real estate, and cryptocurrency) in exchange for assistance in obtaining contracts, land, and funds allocated for restoration projects. Currently, three episodes of criminal activity have been documented.

Episode 1

According to the investigation, in August 2023, an MP, owner of a major construction and agricultural business, approached a top official of the Ministry of Restoration, requesting that his company be awarded contracts for the reconstruction of infrastructure projects worth UAH 1 billion. In exchange, he promised a 'reward' of 3-5 percent of the value of each contract. To finalize further arrangements, the MP also involved the company's director.

After receiving UAH 50 million under a contract for the reconstruction of a destroyed bridge in one of Ukraine's regions, the lawmaker, through an intermediary, gave the top official of the State Agency for Restoration the promised percentage of USD 150,000. The money was put in a Chinese box and handed over in the parking lot of one of the capital's supermarkets.

Episode 2

According to detectives, in August 2023, the actual owner of a construction company, with the assistance of the head of a state-owned company, offered an undue advantage to the Minister of Restoration in the form of apartments with a total area of over 5,200 square meters and an estimated value exceeding UAH 170 million. In exchange, the top official had to approve the agreements concluded between his company and the state-owned company regarding the construction of a residential complex on the land plot of the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine and facilitate their implementation. To conceal the crime, the real estate was to be registered in the name of a top official's proxy.

By the time the crime was uncovered, detectives and prosecutors documented 15 apartments in Kyiv having been registered with the proxy.

Episode 3

As established, in Aug. 2023, an MP, a member of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy, requested a top official of the State Agency for Restoration to facilitate the allocation of financing from the Fund for the Liquidation of the Consequences of Armed Aggression of russia for the repair of an infrastructure facility under his control. In return, he promised to provide an undue advantage in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency equivalent to USD 50,000.

After the money was allocated from the fund, the first tranche of the undue advantage, equivalent to USD 10,000, was transferred to the top official's cryptocurrency wallet.

This marks the first undue advantage in the history of anti-corruption bodies successfully documented in cryptocurrency.

The suspects in three episodes are:

  • two current MPs of Ukraine;
  • the head of a state-owned company;
  • the owner of a private company;
  • the director of a company.

Their actions fall under Part 4 Art. 369 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The operation was conducted in cooperation with the executives of the Ministry and the State Agency under the supervision of detectives of the National Bureau and prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.

Investigative actions regarding the MPs were conducted with the approval and assistance of the Prosecutor General.

The investigation is ongoing.

According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is considered not-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.