Investigators from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) in cooperation with prosecutors from the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) on 29-30 January notified eight individuals of suspicion of embezzling more than $8.8 million. Among those individuals are former and current officials of the state-owned enterprise Ukrainian Sea Port Authority, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
The Bureau said that ex-director of the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority (2014-2017), ex-first deputy chairman (2015-2017), ex-head of the procurement department (2015-2018), ex-deputy chairman of the finance department (2015-2016), current deputy head of the Odesa branch, director of a limited liability company, the beneficiary of the limited liability company and a representative of a non-resident (of a company suspected of criminal activity) were among the suspected.
The aforementioned individuals are suspected of committing the crime under Part 5 of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Misappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property by malversion of an especially large amount, or by an organized group). On 29 January, seven suspects were detained during raids in Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, as well as in Kyiv.
The investigator told that the employees of the Sea Port Authority in collusion with other individuals in 2015-2016 used an unlawful scheme to embezzle funds during the public procurement of dredging services in Berdyansk and Mariupol seaports. They took anti-competitive measures to secure the win at the tender and deliberately overvalued the cost of works. This caused a total loss of $8.8 million to the state, which has been confirmed by forensic economic examination and other materials in the investigation.
The investigation started in December 2015. In September-November 2017, the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine confirmed the fact of anti-competitive actions undertaken by officials of the state-owned enterprise and representatives of some tender participants. They were fined more than $3.56.
In April 2017, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau filed a petition to the business court of Kyiv seeking to declare the agreement on dredging works at Ukrainian ports worth $25.33 million. As a result, the business court of Kyiv launched judicial proceedings.
In September-November 2017, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine confirmed the fact of anticompetitive steps made by officials of the SOE and representatives of some tender participants. The committee fined them over UAH 100 million.
The investigation was started in December 2015.
In April 2017, the NABU filed a petition to the business court of Kyiv seeking to declare invalid the contract to conduct dredging works at Ukrainian ports for UAH 712 million. The court launched judicial proceedings.