Ukraine’s high-ranking defense ministry officials and their associates exposed on multi-million shells procure

SBU employees documented a scheme of embezzlement of state funds
SBU employees documented a scheme of embezzlement of state funds

“Former and current high-ranking officials” from the Defense Department, as well as managers of the Lviv Arsenal company, were involved in the embezzlement of almost $40 million (UAH 1.5 billion) the SBU press service reported on Telegram on Jan. 27.

In August 2022, a contract for the purchase of a wholesale batch of 100,000 artillery shells was signed, and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) transferred the full amount to the Lviv Arsenal.

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After receiving the funds, the company's management transferred part of the money to a foreign commercial entity, which was supposed to deliver the ammunition to Ukraine.

"However, the company did not send a single artillery shell to our country, and transferred the funds to the accounts of another affiliated structure in the Balkans. The rest of the amount from the MoD remained in the accounts of the Ukrainian company in one of the capital's banks," the SBU statement said.

SBU officers documented the embezzlement scheme and identified the persons involved. The embezzled funds have been seized and their return to the budget of Ukraine is being initiated.

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Five persons involved in the case were formally accused of embezzlement, misappropriation or confiscation of property by abuse of authority committed by an organized group.

"In particular, the MoD’s former and current heads of the Department of Military-Technical Policy, Development of Arms and Military Equipment, the head and commercial director of the Lviv Arsenal company, as well as their accomplice, a representative of a foreign commercial structure, were served with suspicion notices".

One of the suspects was detained when he tried to leave Ukraine. Preventive measures for other suspects of the fraud are being decided. They face up to 12 years of imprisonment and confiscation of property.

The operation was conducted jointly with the National Police under the supervision of the Prosecutor General's Office.

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