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State Bureau of Investigation: 260 ongoing probes into military enlistment office abuses

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 10, 2023 9:42 PM 2 min read
Law enforcement officers from the State Bureau of Investigation arrest a man suspected of forging documents that declared individuals unfit for military service, in exchange for bribes, on Oct. 6, 2023. (State Bureau of Investigation)
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The State Bureau of Investigation is currently dealing with 260 cases of potential abuse at regional military enlistment offices and military medical commissions, the law enforcement agency reported on Oct. 10.

The Bureau has informed 58 individuals that they  are suspects in a criminal case, and 21 indictments against 35 people have already been sent to court.

These criminal proceedings have recorded a total of Hr 3.7 million ($101,000) that military enlistment offices and medical commissions have received in bribes, the SBI said.

In August, a nationwide inspection of Ukraine's military recruitment offices revealed multiple violations, including corruption, power abuse, and fraud. Heads of all regional military enlistment offices across Ukraine were dismissed.

Law enforcement agencies then simultaneously conducted hundreds of searches at enlistment offices and military medical commissions across Ukraine, revealing large-scale corruption schemes.

A total of 388 people are suspected of illegally issuing documents of unfitness for service at military medical commissions, the SBI said on Aug. 22.

Those "who intend to use their position for personal profit during wartime," the SBI warned, "will be exposed and prosecuted.

Ukrainian authorities launched the country-wide inspection of military enlistment offices after journalists discovered in June that the family of the ex-head of the Odesa Oblast military enlistment office had acquired property worth $4.5 million since the start of the full-scale invasion.

However, new reports continue to emerge about cases of abuse and corruption. On Sept. 19, the SBI announced that it had launched an investigation into the alleged abuse of a civilian at a military enlistment office in Sambir, Lviv Oblast.

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