Former MP Pashynskyi charged with illegal sale of state property

Serhiy Pashynskyi is suspected by law enforcement
Serhiy Pashynskyi is suspected by law enforcement

Former Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Pashynskyi, along with his business partner and four other suspects, have been charged with misappropriation and sale of 97,000 tons of oil products confiscated by Ukraine and intended for military needs, Ukrainian law enforcement announced on Feb. 12.

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This resulted in losses to the state budget of nearly UAH 1 billion ($26 million). The five suspects now face up to 12 years in prison.

The charges were announced by Ukraine’s SBU security service, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), and Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO).

NV's sources confirmed that Pashynskyi’s home was recently searched by SBU and NABU officers.

In 2014, the courts had confiscated 100,000 tons of fuel from companies close to Ukrainian oligarch Serhiy Kurchenko. He was suspected of stealing gasoline from Naftogaz state-owned oil and gas company.

In 2015, with the help of Pashynskyi's political lobby, these oil products were transferred for sale to a specialized state enterprise to fill the state budget, according to the SBU. At the time, the company was headed by officials controlled by Pashynskyi's business partner. The company officials facilitated the sale of the oil products at significantly reduced prices to a group of companies owned by Pashynskyi's business partner.

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"These oil products were then sold at the gas stations of this group of companies and other network gas stations, and the proceeds were concentrated among the beneficiaries of the scheme," the SBU said.

To make it appear that the seized oil products were transferred for the needs of the Defense Ministry, the state company made the relevant deliveries on a commercial basis, for which the ministry paid in full.

However, the Defense Ministry received only 1.6% of these oil products.

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“At the same time, the defendants sold the same range of goods to their group of companies at a price half as cheap as to the Armed Forces,” the message adds.

“According to the investigation, the former MP provided political cover for these transactions by using his influence on state enterprises, judicial and law enforcement agencies involved in the confiscation of these oil products.”

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