Background on the disrupted undercover operation in the State Migration Service of Ukraine

30.11.2017 19:00

In April 2017 the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) started an undercover operation to embed the special agent to an organized criminal group consisting of current and former officials of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU). According to the operational data, upon prior conspiracy, the officials of the SMSU demanded and received funds for providing to foreigners the citizenship of Ukraine, certificates for temporary residence in Ukraine, as well as for quickening the production of biometric passports for Ukrainian citizens.

The strain of the network of participants in a criminal organization required an increased conspiracy. According to the Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine "On Operative Investigative Activity" and the Article 272 of the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine, the NABU undercover agent had a special task to become embedded to the criminal organization.

According to a legend, the NABU agent acted on behalf of a foreign company interested in official employment for its employees in Ukraine. The employees were foreign citizens. The NABU agent made a direct contact with the First Deputy Head of the SMSU. According to operational data, she was one of the leaders of the criminal organization.

On August 27, 2017, the NABU agent held an informal meeting with an official, and according to a legend, he asked for advice on how a foreigner could obtain a Ukrainian passport. The official of the SMSU did not reject to help, vice versa - she proposed to use "the only legal scheme" that would allow getting the Ukrainian citizenship. She proposed to “find” relatives of this person in Ukraine, to false DNA tests and receive a court decision to confirm relative connections. According to her, these documents are enough for granting citizenship. However, according to the official, it would cost a lot.

"30 thousand is the minimum," she said, but also assured that everything will be made properly. The official handled a list of documents for receiving the citizenship.

At the meeting on September 7, 2017, once again she confirmed the announced amount and clarified that her “services” would cost 30 thousand USD.

However, in early October, when the undercover agent brought the abovementioned package of documents, the official being probably already aware of the NABU undercover operation, refused to take it.

The NABU undercover agent didn’t push her and continued informal communication to maintain the legend.

Until that moment, the Detectives already exposed a scheme of extensive criminal activities related to the provision of migratory services implemented by the officials of the SSSU central and territorial subdivisions and intermediary individuals. The investigation confirmed that the First Deputy Head of the SMSU was among the leaders of the abovementioned organization.

On November 23, 2017, the First Deputy Head of SMSU initiated a dinner with the undercover agent. During the dinner, she asked about the case of a foreigner who she had promised to help on receiving citizenship. The agent replied that he did not know. But added that there is another foreigner who needs to obtain a certificate of temporary residence permit in Ukraine.

On November 24, 2017, the official of the SMSU offered to have a look at the documents of the person who needed residence permit. On November 27, 2017, the undercover agent passed the documents. Then she called him back and said that the issue is easier to resolve than with citizenship, but the amount will be the same as discussed earlier (30 thousand USD). She proposed to give her half of this amount on November 29.

On November 29, 2017, the NABU undercover agent was detained by the officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) and prosecutors of the General`s Prosecutor Office of Ukraine (GPO). Thus, the undercover operation conducted by the NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor`s Office (SAPO) regarding the disclosure of a large-scale corrupt scheme in the State Migration Service of Ukraine was disrupted.

To avoid speculations NABU & SAPO decided to publish fragments of video evidence made within the undercover operation against the organized criminal group in the State Migration Service of Ukraine: