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Former advisor to presidential office charged with embezzling almost $2.5 million from Ukrainian Railways

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 2, 2024 12:52 PM 1 min read
A suspect being detained in connection to an embezzlement case involving Ukrainian Railways on April 2, 2024. (National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine/Telegram)
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A former advisor to Ukraine's presidential office was charged on April 2 with allegedly embezzling almost Hr 95 million ($2.4 million) in a wide-ranging corruption scheme connected to Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia).

The case was reported by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), but it did not disclose the name of the suspect.

At the same time, Ukrainska Pravda, citing unnamed sources, wrote that it was Artem Shylo, a former advisor to the president's office. A source from NABU told the Kyiv Independent they could not comment at this time.

Shylo also previously served as head of the Security Service of Ukraine's (SBU) department tasked with investigating businesses but was replaced in March 2024. He remained an official of the SBU after.

Shylo allegedly arranged the purchase of transformers for Ukrainian Railways at an artificially inflated price in 2022, following the beginning of the full-scale war.

The company that Shylo allegedly directed the contracts to was owned by a Belarusian citizen with connections to Russia, NABU said. The shell company, registered in Bulgaria, then reportedly purchased the transformers from Uzbekistan at double the sticker price.

The suspects then pocketed the difference, NABU said.

Investigators managed to seize Hr 53 million ($1.3 million) from the bank accounts of those suspected of carrying out the scheme.

Four people have been detained in the case so far, NABU said, and preliminary charges of misappropriation and embezzlement through the abuse of office have been brought.

There have been several cases of procurement fraud involving Ukrainian Railways previously.

Four people were charged in June 2023 for allegedly purchasing gas at artificially inflated prices, and the ex-chair of the railway was arrested in February 2024 for reportedly embezzling Hr 11.4 million (around $300,000).

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