UAH 131 million embezzlement by Odesa City Council officials: case sent to court

28.01.2022 00:00

On Jan. 28, 2021, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) filed an indictment against the Odesa City Council officials involved in causing a UAH 131 million loss to the local budget. The accused persons are:

  •  the director of the Department of Communal Property of the Odesa City Council - Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine;
  •  the head of the Standing Committee of the Odesa City Council - Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine;
  •  the head of the Legal Department of the Odesa City Council - Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine;
  •  the head and founder of a private company (real estate broker) - Part 5 Article 191, Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine;
  •  the head and founder of one of the private companies involved in money laundering - Part 3 Article 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine;
  •  property appraiser - Part 1 Article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

In 2016, the Odesa City Council bought from a private company non-residential premises with an area of over 6 thousand sq.m. located on 141 hectares. The land plot was in communal ownership and intended to increase the area of Zahidne cemetery in Odesa. Allegedly based on the results of an independent assessment, the price was set at over UAH 146 million. However, the examination conducted by the state specialized expert institution two years after the purchase found that the price was enhanced by more than 10 times (the real value was about UAH 15 million), while the data based on which it was determined in 2016 was false.

The owners of the private company legalized UAH 146 million received in 2016 from the Department of Communal Property of the Odesa City Council as payment for the mentioned premises through a number of business entities.

On May 15, 2020, the property appraiser was notified of suspicion.

On June 10, 2020, three officials of the Odessa City Council and the founder of a private company (real estate broker) were notified of suspicion.

In October 2020, the case materials were disclosed to the defense for review.

 

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.