Embezzlement of Ukrnafta's UAH 13.3 billion: 8 persons notified of suspicion

02.09.2022 00:00

On Sept. 2, 2022, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor`s Office (SAPO) notified eight persons of suspicion of embezzling property and funds of Ukrnafta PJSC (50%+1 share belongs to state-owned Naftogaz of Ukraine JSC) worth more than UAH 13.3 billion. The suspects are:

  •  the ex-Ukrnafta board chairman;
  •  the former deputy head of Ukrnafta's department for sales of oil, gas, and oil and gas products;
  •  the former head of Ukrnafta's oil and oil products accounting and supplies control department;
  •  five former directors of commercial enterprises. One of them was detained under Article 208 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine.

The actions of the suspects fall under Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

As established, in March-August 2015, several companies were recognized as winners at oil auctions. Ukrnafta concluded sales contracts with them and supplied raw materials worth UAH 10.7 billion.

According to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, the shipment of oil is carried out only after full settlement by the customer, that is, Ukrnafta had no legal grounds to supply products without receiving payment in full. Despite this, the raw materials were delivered and processed at the Kremenchuk Refinery, while the oil products were sold at gas stations throughout the country.

Moreover, in July 2015, Ukrnafta concluded 52 contracts for the purchase of oil products due to be shipped until the end of 2015 and paid in advance their full cost of more than UAH 2.57 billion. Later, additional agreements were concluded, which extended the delivery dates until the end of 2018. However, as a result, Ukrnafta never received the oil products. As established, the spent funds were transferred abroad to the accounts of several offshore companies.

Thus, the total amount of property and funds embezzled in the two episodes exceeds UAH 13.3 billion.

As previously reported, based on NABU's files, the court annulled 60 agreements between Ukrnafta and Kotlas LLC, an oil product supplier, worth almost UAH 3 billion. In addition, thanks to NABU investigations, more than UAH 3.5 billion has already been reimbursed to Ukrnafta. These funds were used to repay the debt that arose as a result of the illegal actions by a number of persons. Draft suspicion reports regarding them were issued in the fall of 2019 and signed only after the appointment of the newly elected head of SAPO.

Interestingly, according to the investigation, the above companies are linked with Privat group companies.

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.