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Prosecutor’s Office: Last defendant in Hrynkevych corruption scandal arrested in attempt to flee country

by Kateryna Hodunova January 22, 2024 5:39 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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Roman Hrynkevych, one of the suspects involved in a defense procurement corruption scandal, was arrested in Odesa Oblast trying to cross Ukraine’s state border, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin reported during a briefing on Jan. 22.

Hrynkevych was the last suspect who had not yet been taken into custody. The other four defendants of this case, including Hrynkevych’s father, Ihor, have been detained with a bail set at Hr 500 million ($13 million).

Hrynkevych was arrested at 6:50 a.m. in Odesa, according to the Prosecutor General. He had been staying in Odesa Oblast since Jan. 17, preparing for further border crossing.

The State Bureau of Investigation (known by its Ukrainian acronym DBR) published a video of Hrynkevych’s arrest with confirmation of his identity on Jan. 22. The defendant will be delivered to court the same day to determine a measure of restraint, the DBR reported.

The DBR also said he tried to escape from Ukrainian law enforcement to an EU country.

Ihor Hrynkevych, Roman’s father, was arrested on Dec. 30 while allegedly attempting to bribe a top DBR official. He is suspected of offering $500,000 to the official in exchange for the return of his confiscated property due to criminal proceedings.

He was one of the leading suppliers for the Defense Ministry and failed to complete the contracts, causing the ministry financial damage of Hr 1.2 billion ($31.6 million). 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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