Deputy minister suspected of illegally accepting USD 400,000

24.01.2023 00:00

On Jan. 22, 2023, NABU and SAPO notified the Deputy Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of suspicion of requesting and accepting an undue advantage worth USD 400,000. His actions fall under Part 4 Art. 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The charges were also brought against his confidant, an entrepreneur, and two accomplices.

As established, in the summer of 2022, the entrepreneur offered the official to purchase mobile boiler rooms from his company at inflated prices under direct contracts, i.e. outside the tender procedure. This was possible due to the urgent need for materials and equipment for the uninterrupted passage of the 2022-2023 heating season. To this end, the Cabinet of Ministers allocated almost UAH 1.41 billion from the state budget reserve fund. Half of this amount was to be paid to the entrepreneur's company.

To make everything go smoothly, the entrepreneur involved two more persons to help him not only prepare an offer for the ministry with prices 25-30% higher than the market average but also to distort the results of cost monitoring intended to create the appearance of a better price. To this end, the entrepreneur involved several controlled companies that allegedly offered similar equipment at even higher prices.

The deputy minister accepted the offer and requested a remuneration for his services of 7-10% of the contract amount. The undue benefit was to be provided in parts, based on the contract payments schedule.

In order to minimize the risk of exposure, the participants of the crime resorted to a conspiracy: the first tranche of USD 400,000 was handed over to the minister's confidant in Lviv. Shortly after receiving the money, NABU and SAPO detained him and four other participants in the crime, including the deputy minister. The whole amount of the undue advantage was confiscated.

The investigation is ongoing.

 

According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is considered non-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.