NABU, SAPO expose UAH 307 mln ammo depot construction embezzlement scheme, suspect ex-MP

On Oct. 25, 2023, NABU and SAPO announced suspicion of misappropriating funds from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in the amount of over UAH 307 million against:

  • an ex-MP;
  • the former First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine;
  • four more people.

As established, in 2018, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine entered into contracts with companies controlled by an MP for the construction of secure missile and ammunition storage facilities for the Armed Forces of Ukraine due in 2021, with a total estimated value of approximately UAH 3 billion.

The MP planned to misappropriate part of these funds. However, legislative restrictions hindered his efforts, as the Ministry of Defense was only allowed to make advance payments equivalent to 30% of the annual workload. In order to carry out the criminal intent, the MP and his assistant, with the involvement of high-ranking officers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ensured the adoption of changes to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine resolutions, allowing for an advance payment of 80% of the total contract value. As a result, in November-December 2018, over UAH 307 million was transferred to the accounts of a company controlled by the MP. However, the construction of the facility, intended to enhance the country's defense, was not actually launched, and the allocated funds were transferred to the accounts of other controlled companies.

The actions of the suspects fall under Part 5 Article 191 and Part 2 Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

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.