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Businessman detained over allegedly attempting to bribe State Bureau of Investigation official

by Martin Fornusek December 30, 2023 7:02 PM 1 min read
The State Bureau of Investigation employees detain a Lviv businessman over alleged bribery of one of the Bureau's officials. Photo published on Dec. 30, 2023. (State Bureau of Investigation/Telegram)
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A businessman from Lviv was detained for allegedly attempting to bribe an official of the State Bureau of Investigation with $500,000, the Bureau announced on Dec. 30.

The suspect reportedly offered the bribe to one of the heads of the Bureau's Main Investigative Department.

In exchange for the attempted bribe, the businessman was seeking the return of his company's property seized under months-old criminal proceedings, the Bureau said.

Previously, an investigation was launched against businessman's companies in connection to Hr 1.5 billion ($39.5 million) contracts on providing clothes and underwear to the military.

According to investigators, many of the contracts were not fulfilled, and some were incomplete or set at inflated prices. The damages are estimated at Hr 1 billion ($26.3 million), the Bureau said.

The businessman is now in pre-trial detention with an alternative of bail of Hr 429.4 million ($11.29 million). He faces up to eight years in prison.

A different corruption scandal related to clothes supplies for the military preceded the dismissal of former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

Under a contract signed by the Defense Ministry and the Turkish company Vector Avia, the supplier reportedly provided winter jackets of low quality and at inflated prices.

One of the main tasks assigned by President Volodymyr Zelensky to Reznikov's successor, Rustem Umerov, was to crack down on corruption and increase transparency in the Defense Ministry and the military.

Rooting out corruption is one of the crucial steps Ukraine has to take in its path toward European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

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