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Rivne Oblast council deputy head charged with bribery, abuse of power

by Dmytro Basmat June 1, 2024 4:04 AM 2 min read
Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), alongside the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), charged the deputy head of the Rivne Oblast council over allegedly accepting a bribe worth nearly six hundred thousand hryvnias ($14,000), the agencies' join statement announced on May 31. (NABU/web)
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Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), alongside the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), charged the deputy head of the Rivne Oblast council with allegedly accepting a bribe worth nearly 600,000 hryvnias ($14,800), the agencies' joint statement announced on May 31.

According to a statement released by the SBU, the council's deputy head allegedly received nearly six hundred thousand hryvnias in exchange for helping an entrepreneur dispose of a property previously owned by local authorities - a scheme that involved lobbying Rivne Oblast council members to adopted a decision to sell a plot of land measuring 5.4 hectares.

No further details were provided as to the extent of the scheme that allegedly occurred in 2021.

The investigation was carried out by the SBU Office in Rivne Oblast, alongside NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.

The suspect was charged under Ukraine's Criminal Code for "abuse of power" as well as for the "acceptance of an offer, promise, or receipt of an unlawful benefit by a public official."

In November 2023, another Rivne Oblast council member came under suspicion for illicitly acquiring assets worth millions of dollars, according to the State Bureau for Investigation. The official also held the position of deputy head of the Poliskyi Forestry Office of the Forests of Ukraine state enterprise.

Criminal procedures against the official changed in November 2023 are ongoing. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Rivne Oblast council member suspected of illicit enrichment
The official is reportedly also the deputy head of the Poliskyi Forestry Office of the “Forests of Ukraine” state company. The Forestry Office identified the man as Vitalii Sukhovych.

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