On January 17, 2019, the Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) under the procedural guidance of the prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) gave notices of suspicion to 6 persons. They are suspected of embezzlement of more than 98 million UAH of the Public Joint-Stock Company (PJSC) «Ukrzaliznytsia» (Ukrainian railways) by purchasing fuel at inflated prices.
In particular, among the suspects there are:
- the Head of the Branch of the CTS «Liski» PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia»;
- the Chief Engineer of the Branch of the CTS «Liski» PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia»;
- the Acting Head of the Odesa Office of the Branch of the CTS «Liski» PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia»;
- the Chief Engineer of the Odesa Office of the Branch of the CTS «Liski» PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia»;
- 2 Directors of 2 commercial enterprises.
The actions of all suspects were qualified under Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine («Misappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property by abuse of office»).
The investigation revealed that in 2016 the PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia» has started the implementation of the so-called «New Silk Road», intended to provide the streamline of the transport of goods to Asia. According to the project, one of the Directions of transit routes was via the Black Sea. For this goal, 2 ferries «Heroes of Shipka» and «Heroes of Pleven» were transmitted to «Ukrzaliznytsia». They were planned to be used for the transportation of freight cars via the sea.
In early 2016, the Branch of the CTS «Liski» (falls within the scope of management of the PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia») conducted a tender for the purchase of fuel and lubricants for the needs of these two ferries. According to the delivery contract concluded in July 2016, the winner of tender (a commercial company) had to supply 6.743 thousand tons of fuel and lubricants for the total amount of 101.5 million UAH.
The CTS «Liski» supplied the purchases under this agreement in December 2016. However, there was no need for the procurement of all contracted volumes of fuel due to the technical condition of the ferries themselves, which required major repairs (it would take about a year). Secondly, the Silk Road Project had lost its prospect of being implemented and the tender organizers had been aware of the situation.
However, the winner of the tender supplied the goods for the amount of 3 million UAH only, instead it received 101.5 million UAH from the CTS «Liski».
The NABU Detectives started the pre-trial investigation of the abovementioned facts in August 2017.
As a result of investigative actions conducted by the NABU Detectives in cooperation with the PJSC «Ukrzaliznytsia» and the State Audit Office of Ukraine, persons involved in the commission of a crime, refunded the «Ukrzaliznytsia» illegally alienated funds in August 2018.
According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine a person is considered not-guilty in commission of crime and cannot be a subject to criminal punishment, until he or she is found guilty by the court.