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NABU uncover 2018 ammunition depot corruption scheme

by Elsa Court October 25, 2023 6:07 PM 2 min read
A sign outside the office of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kyiv, Ukraine. (NABU / Facebook)
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A former lawmaker is a key suspect in a case dating back to 2018 concerning the embezzlement of over Hr 307 million ($8.4 million) in Defense Ministry funds, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) reported on Oct. 25.

NABU did not name the MP, but said he served between November 2014 and July 2019.

The roots of the corruption scheme go back to 2018, when the Defense Ministry signed contracts with companies controlled by the lawmaker for the construction of special depots for storing missiles and ammunition.

These companies agreed they would construct the warehouses for a total amount of Hr 3 billion ($82 million).

NABU believes that the lawmaker planned to misappropriate a large part of these funds but was initially prevented from doing so by legislation, which meant that the ministry would only be able pay an advance of 30% of the annual workload.

However, the lawmaker and his assistant "ensured the adoption of changes" to the legislation, which allowed "for an advance payment of 80% of the total contract value."

This meant that at the end of 2018, the companies controlled by the lawmaker were able to receive Hr 307 million ($8.4 million) from the Defense Ministry, transferred as an advance.

However, construction on the facility that was "intended to enhance the country's defense" never began and the money was transferred to the accounts of other companies controlled by the MP.

A former First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is also a suspect in the case, NABU reported.

Military enlistment officials suspected of illegally acquiring $7 million
The National Agency on Corruption Prevention suspects six military enlistment officials of illegally acquiring assets worth over Hr 255 million ($7 million) in the last half a year, the agency reported on Oct. 23.
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