On November 26, 2019, the Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine under the procedural guidance of the prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) gave notices of suspicion to 7 persons. Among the suspects, there are ex-Head and five officials of one of the Territorial Customs Service, ex-official of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (SFS).
They are suspected of involvement in the scheme related to the illegal customs clearance of goods imported into Ukraine. As a result, 77.7 million damage was caused to the state.
In addition to the abovementioned persons, the NABU Detectives gave notices of suspicion to three more persons (representatives of business companies involved in the corruption scheme).
Among the suspects there are:
- Acting Head of the Territorial Customs Service (currently - the deputy Head of this Service);
- Deputy Head of the Territorial Customs Service;
- Acting Head of the Customs Clearance Department of the Territorial Customs Service;
- three inspectors of the Customs Clearance Department of the Territorial Customs Service;
- ex-Head of the Customs Payments Administration Department of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine;
- three persons (representatives of business companies).
The participants of the scheme were detained in accordance with Article 208 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. On the same day, they were given notices of suspicion of committing crimes under Part 1 Article 255, Part 3 Article 212 and Part 2 Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. On November 28, 2019, the organizer of the scheme was given a notice of suspicion.
The investigative actions are in progress. Other persons involved in the commission of a crime are being established.
This episode is one of a number of cases that NABU investigates in the field of customs clearance of goods with the involvement of the SFS and Custom Services officials.
In general, in the framework of these cases related to customs clearance the abuses of officials caused damage for about UAH 500 million.
The NABU Detectives have been conducting a pre-trial investigation as of the abovementioned facts since October 2017.
As part of this investigation, the NABU Detectives initiated seizures of more than UAH 450 million in the accounts of companies involved in the scheme.
Subsequently, in December 2017, the beneficiary of these companies offered the NABU Detectives an improper advantage of USD 800,000 for terminating the criminal proceeding. He was exposed at the crime scene.
This fact was documented and investigated. The indictment as of the person, who offered the NABU Detectives an improper advantage, was sent to the Pechersky District Court of Kyiv in July 2018.
In January 2019, based on NABU materials, the State Fiscal Service began documentary audit of companies participating in the scheme. These companies tried to block the audit. In response, the NABU entered into the lawsuit as a third party to prevent attempts to avoid liability.
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.