On Sept. 20-24, 2018, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office filed an indictment against 7 persons charged with embezzling SE "Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority" UAH 247 million. They are:
- the former Chairman of SE "USPA" (2014-2017);
- the former Deputy Chairman of SE "USPA" (2015 till now);
- the former Head of the Procurement Department of SE "USPA" (2015-2018);
- the Deputy Head of SE "USPA" Odesa Branch (at the time of committing the crime – the Deputy Head of the Procurement Department of SE "USPA");
- the director of Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv Ltd;
- the beneficiary of Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv Ltd;
- the beneficiary of a non-resident company.
The actions of these persons fall under Part 5 Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Misappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property by abuse of official post, committed by an organized group in an especially gross amount").
In addition, the beneficiary of Techmorgidrostroy Mykolayiv Ltd, the beneficiary and one more representative of a non-resident company are charged with committing crimes under Part 3, Part 4 Article 358 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The latter eventually took a plea deal and provided incriminating testimony.
The ex-Deputy Chairman of SE "USPA" also pleaded guilty (in the commission of a criminal offense under Part 2 Art. 367 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine - neglect of official duty that caused any significant damage to state and public interests). He provided incriminating testimony and reimbursed losses in the amount of UAH 734.1 thousand caused by his actions.
As established, in 2015-2016, USPA officials in collusion with private individuals implemented a scheme to embezzle the SE's funds during public procurement of dredging services off the Berdiansk and Mariupol seaports. It was about using anti-competitive actions to ensure the victory of a predetermined bidder, as well as further inflating the cost of services. As a result, the State (represented by the USPA) suffered UAH 247 million in losses, which is confirmed by the conclusion of a forensic economic examination and other case materials.
NABU launched an investigation into the above facts in December 2015.
In January-February 2018, a few persons involved in the implementation of the scheme were notified of suspicion.
In April 2018, the investigation was completed, while the suspects were granted access to the case files.
In September-November 2017, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine confirmed the fact of anti-competitive actions by USPA officials and representatives of several bidding companies which were later fined over UAH 100 million.
In July 2018, the Commercial Court of Kyiv granted NABU's lawsuit and declared invalid the dredging contract between SE "USPA" and Tekhmorhidrostroy Mykolayiv Ltd worth UAH 712 million.
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.