On September 20-24, 2018, the prosecutors of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) handed the indictment, drawn up by the Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), to 7 persons. They are suspected of 247 million UAH public funds embezzlement of the State Enterprise “Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority” (SE "USPA").
In particular, among suspects there are:
- the former Head of the SE "USPA" (2014-2017),
- the former Deputy Head of the SE "USPA" (2015 till now),
- the former Head of the Procurement Department of the SE "USPA" (2015-2018),
- the Deputy Head of Odesa Branch Office of the SE "USPA" (at the time of committing a crime he was the Deputy Head of the Procurement Department of the SE "USPA"),
- the Director of the Limited Liability Company (LLC) "Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv",
- the beneficiary of the LLC "Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv",
- the representative of a non-resident company (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).
The beneficiary of the LLC "Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv", the beneficiary of a non-resident company and the representative of a non-resident company accused of committing crimes under Part 4 Article 358 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Forgery of documents, stamps, seals or letterheads, and sale or use of forged documents). The representative of a non-resident company signed a plea bargain agreement and provided investigation with evidence.
In the same way the former Deputy Head of the SE "USPA" admitted his guilt (committing crime under Part 2 Article 367 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine — Neglect of official duty that caused any grave consequences). He provided the indicative impressions and reimbursed damages in the amount of 734.1 thousand UAH incurred by his activities.
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 (SE "USPA") suffered losses in the amount of 247 million UAH that was confirmed by the expert examination.
The NABU Detectives started the investigation of the abovementioned facts in December 2015.
In January-February, 2018, persons involved to the implementation of the corruption scheme, according to the investigation, were given notices of suspicion.
In April 2018, the suspects were informed about the completion of the investigation and provided access to the materials of the case.
In September-November, 2017, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine confirmed the anti-competitive concerted actions of the SE officials during the state procurement of dredging services. The enterprises-participants were fined with more than 100 million UAH.
In July 2018, the Commercial Court of Kyiv, according to the NABU’s petition, declared invalid the agreements for dredging services between SE "USPA" and LLC "Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv" on 712 million UAH.
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.