Embezzlement of UAH 160 million provided for Kharkiv recovery: organized group exposed

NABU and SAPO have exposed an organized group, established in 2022 to seize state and international partners' funds intended for the restoration of Kharkiv's critical infrastructure.

According to the investigation, the group's organizer, one of the influential businessmen, in collusion with the first deputy director general of the Kharkiv Heating Networks utility company, secured direct contracts with the companies under his control. The contracts provided for the supply of pipe products, windows and technical salt. Meanwhile, the participants of the deal used the martial law as an excuse not to hold open tenders.

Subsequently, the "winner" purchased the products from the manufacturer through a number of fictional companies and resold them to the utility company at more than twice the price. At the same time, the utility company had direct economic relations with this manufacturer.

The scheme caused losses to the state of UAH 159.5 million. However, part of these funds, UAH 22 million, was provided by the World Bank Group (International Bank for Reconstruction and Revival) for the development of urban infrastructure.

In total, there are 7 suspects so far:

  • the leader of the organized group;
  • the first deputy general director and one of the directors of Kharkiv Heat Networks;
  • four persons controlled by leader of the organized group.

The actions of the suspects fall under Part 5 Art. 191, Part 2 Art. 28, Part 4 Art. 358 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The exposure of unlawful actions was facilitated by the State Audit Service of Ukraine.

Efforts are under way to identify other episodes of organized group's criminal activity.

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.