The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor`s Office (SAPO) have filed an indictment against Pervomaiskvuhillia SE officials charged with abuse of office during works to prevent a man-made catastrophe that could result from the flooding of mines in Luhansk region.
The accused are:
- the former acting General Director of Pervomaiskvuhillia SE;
- the director of a separate subdivision of Zolote mine;
- the chief engineer of Zolote mine;
- the chief mechanic of Zolote mine.
As established, in 2017, a critical situation occurred in Pervomaisk-Stakhaniv coal mining area of Luhansk region where the mines Pervomaiska and Holubivska (located on the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk region) got flooded. This was due to the impossibility of pumping out water after the anti-terrorist operation started in 2015-2016. As a result, the water level in the disused Zolote mine shaft (located in the town of Zolote), which has a hydraulic connection with the above mines, increased critically. This entailed a high risk of emergencies: destruction of buildings, landslides, subsidence of ground surface, contamination of drinking water outtake stations, and loss of minerals.
To prevent a man-made catastrophe, in 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine allocated funds to finance necessary emergency response works at Zolote mine. Pervomaiskvuhillia SE was assigned the administrator of these funds. Procurement was carried out under a negotiations procedure, hence the state enterprise selected the main contractor without a tender. It was a commercial company, which, after entering into a contract with Pervomaiskvuhillia, hired another company as a subcontractor. The latter turned to Zolote mine, part of SE Pervomaiskvuhillia, to have its employees perform the required work.
As a result, more than UAH 33 million was transferred to the accounts of the commercial companies, and another UAH 5 million is accounted for as a debt of Pervomaiskvuhillia to the main contractor. The overstatement of the volume and cost of works exceeded UAH 17 million, of which over UAH 14 million was illegally paid. The embezzlement of almost UAH 3.5 million was prevented.
NABU started the investigation in January 2019.
The former acting General Director of Pervomaiskvuhillia SE and the director of a separate subdivision of Zolote mine were served with charges in October 2020.
In April 2021, the detectives completed the investigation and disclosed the case file for review.
Two other persons (chief engineer and chief mechanic of Zolote mine) were served with charges on March 30, 2021. They are accused of drawing up false documents that sanctioned the purchase of materials and works at inflated prices.
The investigation of two directors of the commercial companies became a separate proceeding in April 2021. The court has already passed a conviction, which has taken effect.
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.