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Ex-health minister issued arrest warrant in absentia

by Elsa Court September 14, 2023 7:22 PM 1 min read
Maksym Stepanov speaks to the press in Kyiv during his role as Health Minister on April 15, 2021. (Photo: Olena Khudiakova/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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The High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine issued an arrest warrant against former Health Minister Maksym Stepanov, who is suspected of embezzling state funds, the court announced on Sept. 13.

The court said in a statement that the ex-minister is currently abroad, without specifying his exact location.

Stepanov led the ministry between March 2020 and May 2021, when he was dismissed reportedly due to poor vaccination uptake amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to this, he served as governor of Odesa Oblast.

From 2011 to 2016 he was the head of a state-owned factory that produces official documents and ID cards.

Investigators believe that in this role he was responsible for the embezzlement of Hr 450 million ($12.2 million).

Oligarch Kolomoisky charged with embezzling $250 million from PrivatBank
The former PrivatBank owner Ihor Kolomoisky, together with five associates, has been charged by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine with embezzling Hr 9.2 billion ($250 million) from PrivatBank, the NABU announced on Sept. 7.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) exposed the corruption scheme in July 2023.

They worked with investigators from Estonia and France to uncover the crime, revealing that Stepanov set up an intermediary company registered in Estonia to purchase materials for the state-owned enterprise he directed.

Two people who helped Stepanov manage the intermediary company are Estonian citizens, and thus the Estonian authorities are taking measures against them, Hromadske reported.

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