Undercover detectives of National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) have exposed a deputy community development minister and accomplices for taking a $400,000 bribe, according to a Jan. 22 Facebook post by the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO).
Neither the NABU nor the SAPO named the deputy minister involved, of which there are four currently serving according to the government website.
The official and accomplices allegedly enabled the signing of contracts for purchasing equipment and machinery in return for the bribe.
Ukraine’s government allocated UAH 1.68 billion ($45.7 million) last summer to restore critical infrastructure to supply Ukrainians with power, heat, and water in winter.
The SAPO said the investigation uncovered several officials concluded contracts at an inflated cost with predetermined businesses. The investigation is ongoing, the SAPO said.
Russia has damaged more than 700 critical infrastructure facilities in Ukraine since Feb. 24, according to the Interior Ministry.
On Jan. 21, the NABU detained Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Vasyl Lozynskiy. According to the Ukrainska Pravda news outlet, NABU has investigated potential corruption involving Lozynskiy since September. The deputy minister allegedly accepted $400,000 in bribes for the procurement of electricity generators.
The Ministry of Infrastructure issued a statement saying they “provide full assistance to the investigation” and that Lozynskiy was fired.