Ex-SMS head suspected of UAH 88 million embezzlement scheme

NABU and SAPO, together with the Department of Internal Security of the National Police, have charged the former head of the State Migration Service of Ukraine with misappropriation of over UAH 88 million.

Thus, the final link in the hierarchy of former SMS officials involved in the scheme has been exposed. The suspect's actions fall under Part 5 Art. 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

According to the investigation, in 2015, the State Migration Service received a building from the government in the center of Kyiv to set up its central office there. 

The businessman, who had longstanding friendly relations with representatives of the SMS and other authorities, organized an extensive scheme of embezzling budget funds using individuals under his control within the structure of the migration service. 

As established by NABU and SAPO, he involved the ex-head of the SMS, his deputy, and the Department for Resource-Economic Support and Capital Construction of the SMS to facilitate the signing of contracts with companies under the businessman's control for the execution of project and construction works by distorting bidding results and ensuring payment for "works and services".

The criminal group, over the course of several years, misappropriated budget funds by inflating the cost of completed work, issuing "empty certificates," and duplicating work. As a result, the reconstruction of the central office building of the SMS has yet to be completed, computer systems with the relevant software only exist on paper, and the companies responsible for the reconstruction have disappeared.

The budget losses amount to over UAH 88 million.

The former deputy head of the SMS, the ex-head of the Department for Resource-Economic Support and Capital Construction of the SMS and the businessman were notified of suspicion in September 2023.

The materials collected by NABU detectives during the pre-trial investigation helped the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine in uncovering a conspiracy between two companies controlled by the businessman and imposing a fine of almost UAH 3.5 million.

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.