Bucha and Irpin: Searches at the mayors' offices and houses
Both mayors are accused of power abuse and malversation during illicit alienation of 890 hectares of especially valuable lands of forestry purposes
General Prosecutor’s Office announced that Security Service of Ukraine is making searches at Anatoliy Fedoruk, Mayor of Bucha, and Volodymyr Karplyuk, mayor of Irpin.
Volodymyr Hutsulyak, the Head of the Department of the General Prosecutor’s Office, announced that information on the escape of Irpin city mayor Volodymyr Karplyuk is not officially confirmed.
He also announced that searches were held today by the Security Service of Ukraine in a number of locations, specifically 31 address, including private houses and official buildings of the city councils, in the framework of criminal proceedings on the fact of power abuse and malversation by the officials of Bucha city council during the illicit alienation of 890 hectares of especially valuable lands of forestry purposes from the state property.
These lands were illegally alienated, then granted to use by straw private persons, who within a short period of time transferred the land to the ownership of their relatives, being official officers of Bucha and Irpin city councils. The later, being the heads of their own construction companies performed public building up of the territories. Bucha and Irpin are small cities, situated very close to Kyiv, where the land is very expensive.
Hutsulyak stressed that the only authorized body to admeasure land is the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine exclusively.
According to preliminary calculations the cost of these lands makes hundreds of million hryvnias.
During these searches a big amount of documents were seized for further investigation.
Mayors of the cities Anatoliy Fedoruk and Volodymyr Karplyuk are godfathers to each others children and business partners. Karplyuk owns a construction company. He officially registered 67 apartments with more than 7000 square meters of total floor area. Activists and journalists have repeatedly accused both of them of illicit alienation of urban lands. Now it is about 900 hectares of Bucha forest. Karplyuk is also a party in the conflict with the village of Kotsyubynske. Activists are trying to protect 4000 hectares of Bilychy forest from the real estate development. After a confrontation in the village council, Ukrainian parliament resumed its authority. Snap elections took place only last week.
New version of Land Code entered into its force in 2002, allowing to sell land and enabling numerous corrupt schemes of how to alienate urban lands from state property, specifically lands from state forest fund into the category of real estate development. Since then 897 hectares of Bucha forest were fated to forest devastation. Local community was fighting all the time against violent building up of the environment.
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