The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) have completed the investigation of a corruption scheme to misappropriate 1.56 thousand tons of grain worth almost UAH 12 million. On July 13, 2022, the case file was disclosed to the defense before its referral to court.
The suspects are:
- the acting head of Khlibna Baza №76 SE (managed by the State Reserve Agency);
- the director of a private company – an official's close relative;
- the scheme's organizer.
All persons are charged under Part 5 Art. 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
As established, in the fall of 2020, the suspects began to implement a scheme to seize the grain of the State Reserve Agency, which was stored at Khlibna Baza №76 SE.
Initially, the participants in the scheme created the appearance of a transfer of 1.56 thousand tons of grain from a private company to the SE. In fact, as the investigation has established, no grain was delivered to the warehouses of the SE.
Further on, in pursuance of the signed agreement, the participants in the scheme planned to ship the State Reserve grain as if they were returning the property of the company. In order to partially cover up the shortage of grain that occurred as a result of such actions, the suspects planned to write off about 700 tons of grain as waste after the alleged curative measures.
In May 2021, the participants in the scheme started to ship the grain from Khlibna Baza №76 SE. However, NABU thwarted their plans, preventing the misappropriation of state property worth almost UAH 12 million.
During the implementation of the corruption scheme at Khlibna Baza №76, the enterprise's leadership changed twice and both times, as the investigation has established, people were appointed to relevant positions with the involvement of the scheme's organizer.
This is one of the most common schemes as far as misappropriation of the State Reserve property is concerned. NABU already has a number of completed investigations that have been referred to court and those at the pre-trial investigation stage.
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.