On October 19, 2020, 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) jointly with the Department of Strategic Investigations of the National Police of Ukraine exposed corrupt scheme of embezzlement UAH 14.33 million. These funds were allocated on preventing technological accident at the coal mines located in Luhansk Oblast. The actions of the suspects are qualified under Part 5 Article 191, Part 2 Article 15, Part 5 Article 191, and Part 1 Article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Among the suspects, there are:
- the Acting General Director of the State Enterprise (SE) Pervomayskvuhillya;
- the Director of branch office of the mentioned coal mine - SE Shahta Zolote ;
- the Heads of two private companies.
In 2017, a critical situation occurred with the flooding of the Pervomaiska and Holubivska coal mines in the Pervomaisko-Stakhanivsky coal mining region of Luhansk Oblast. These coal mines are located in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk Oblast. No water was pumped out there after the start of the Joint Forces Operation in 2015-2016. As a result, the water level at the SE Shahta Zolote (located in Zolote city) has increased. This coal mine has a hydraulic connection with the mentioned coal mines.
Thus, there was a risk of emergencies - destruction of buildings, landslides, subsidence of the earth's surface, contamination of drinking water intakes with mine water, loss of minerals. In order to prevent a man-made catastrophe, the Cabinet of the Ministry of Ukraine in 2018 allocated funds to finance the relevant works at the Zolote coal mine. SE Pervomayskvuhillya has become an asset manager. The contractor was selected according to self-determined criteria without a tender through negotiations. This company signed a subcontract agreement with another company after receiving a contract with SE Pervomayskvuhillya. The subcontractor appealed to the SE Shahta Zolote to have its employees perform the necessary work.
The investigation revealed that the official of the SE and the Heads of private companies have acted in conspiracy.
As a result, UAH 33 million was transferred from the state budget to Departments of the SE Pervomayskvuhillya through two private companies, and more than UAH 14 million was illegally overpaid through two private companies. The embezzlement of almost UAH 3.5 million was prevented. Within the pre-trial investigation the NABU Detectives collected evidence that the prices of certain materials depended almost twice, and part of the paid work was not performed at all.
The NABU Detectives started a pre-trial investigation as of these facts in January 2019.
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.