On January 29-30, 2018, the Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) gave notices of suspicion to 8 persons as of 247 million UAH public funds embezzlement of the State Enterprise Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (SE USPA).
Among the suspects there are former and current officials of the SE:
- the former Head of the SE USPA (2014-2017),
- the former Deputy Head of the SE USPA (2015-2017),
- the former Head of the Procurement Department of the SE USPA (2015-2018),
- the former Deputy Head of the SE USPA (2015-2016),
- the Deputy Head of the Odesa Branch Office of the SE USPA (current),
- the Director of the Limited Liability Company (LLC),
- the beneficiary of the LLC,
- the representative of a non-resident LLC (involved in a crime).
The abovementioned persons are suspected of committing a crime under Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Misappropriation of property by abuse of office in especial grave size committed by an organized group).
On January 29, 2018, according to Article 208 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine during searches in Odesa and Mykolayiv regions and in Kyiv, seven of the suspects were detained. The search actions were conducted within investigation of criminal proceeding of the facts of misappropriation of property by the officials of the SE USPA.
The investigation revealed that in 2015-2016 the officials of the SE USPA upon prior conspiracy with private individuals organized a corrupt scheme of the public funds embezzlement during the state procurement of dredging services for approach channels and water areas of the Berdyansk and Mariupol seaports.
In particular, the suspects conducted anticompetitive actions in order to ensure the victory of predetermined participant in competitive bidding, then they overestimated the cost of” the winner”. As a result, the State suffered losses in the amount of 247 million UAH that was confirmed by the expert examination.
In September-November, 2017, the anti-competitive concerted actions of the SE officials during the state procurement of dredging services were confirmed by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. The enterprises-participants were fined with more than 100 million UAH.
The NABU Detectives started the investigation of the abovementioned facts in December, 2015.
In April 2017 based on the materials of the pre-trial investigation the NABU filed a petition to the Commercial Court of Kyiv for proving the invalidity of the agreements on 712 million UAH for dredging services in the ports of Ukraine. The petition was based on the violation of the requirements of the Law of Ukraine «On Public Procurement» and other norms of the Ukrainian legislation. The court has started the legal process.
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.