On Aug. 12, 2021, NABU and SAPO sent an indictment against the former Head of the National Police in Odesa region (from September 2016 to April 2019), his ex-deputy and two heads of private companies to court. All four are accused of illegally seizing a large batch of tobacco products previously withdrawn from illicit trafficking. Their actions fall under Part 5 Art. 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("misappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property by abuse of official post").
As established, in 2018, the heads of private companies in collusion with ex-police officers illegally seized a large batch of counterfeit tobacco products being material evidence in a National Police probe. The products, a consignment of seven sea containers worth more than UAH 13 million, eventually found their way into illegal circulation.
In July 2019, NABU and SAPO notified four persons of suspicion of committing a crime under Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On July 20, 2020, the defense was granted access to the case files.
The National Police Internal Security Department assisted NABU and SAPO in the exposure of the crime.
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.