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DBR: Son of businessman implicated in defense corruption scandal declared wanted

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 18, 2024 7:54 PM 2 min read
(L) Ihor Hrynkevych, his children Olga and Roman, and his wife (R) Svitlana pose for a picture in vyshyvankas, Ukraine’s national embroidered shirts. (Facebook page of journalist Yevhen Plinskiy)
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The son of a Lviv businessman implicated in a defense procurement corruption scandal has been declared wanted, said Tetiana Sapian, a communications advisor of the State Bureau of Investigation, on air on Jan. 18.

Although Sapian did not name the person in question, she said this in response to a query about Roman Hrynkevych, the son of businessman Ihor Hrynkevych, who is currently in detention and investigated for a large-scale corruption scheme.

Ukrainska Pravda also reported, citing law enforcement sources, that the announcement concerns Hrynkevych's son, Roman. The Kyiv Independent reached out to the bureau for comment but has not received a response at the time of this publication.

Sapian said that the businessman's son is part of a criminal group suspected of causing the state a loss of Hr 1 billion ($26.5 million) in a military clothes procurement scheme. While other members of the group were informed of suspicion and detained on Jan. 17, Roman Hrynkevych is reportedly still in hiding.

"Yesterday, searches were conducted to find and detain members of a criminal group, including a relative of a Lviv businessman," Sapian said on air.

"Unfortunately, he has not yet been found, but the suspicion of fraud and participation in a criminal group has been announced to him in accordance with the procedure established by law."

Ihor Hrynkevych used to be one of the leading suppliers for the Defense Ministry, winning 23 tenders with his companies. According to authorities, he failed to complete the contracts and caused the ministry financial damage of Hr 1.2 billion ($31.6 million).

The goods Hrynkevych's companies supplied were allegedly of low quality and inappropriate for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to use. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

Ihor Hrynkevych was arrested on Dec. 30, 2023, while allegedly attempting to bribe a top official in the bureau in exchange for the return of his property confiscated during criminal proceedings.

The Defense Ministry announced on Jan. 17 that it had terminated the last contract with the businessman's companies.

Since the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion, Ukraine's Defense Ministry has been involved in several corruption scandals.

The two most notorious scandals, one regarding inflated prices for food supplies and the other connected to low-quality winter jackets, prompted the dismissal of former Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

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