National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) detectives have informed ex-Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan about the suspicion of reducing port tariffs and fees under the procedural guidance of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO). This was reported on the NABU's website.
NABU claims that the state budget did not receive 30.5 million dollars (1,1 million dollars) due to the reduction of those tariffs.
Actions are qualified under Part 2 of Art. 211 of the Criminal code ("Making of regulations or directives that modify budget revenues and expenses contrary to the procedures prescribed by law – the same actions committed in respect of especially large amounts of budget funds, or repeated").
The investigation established that Omelyan issued an order to reduce all port dues (except lighthouse ones) by 20% in December 2017. At the same time, one of these fees - administrative - was a revenue part of the state budget. Therefore, only the Verkhovna Rada, not the Minister, could change its size.
The Ministry of Finance opposed the reduction of fees, as it would lead to a shortfall in revenues to the state budget. The Ministry of Finance repeatedly informed then Minister of Infrastructure about this.
Omelyan, in his turn, said that the decision to reduce tariffs, on the contrary, had helped and contributed to the growth of the maritime industry. He wrote about this on his Facebook page.
"Last Friday I was invited to NABU to give additional evidence in criminal proceedings on the Ukrainian government's reduction of port tariffs and fees by 20% in 2018 ... The tariff reduction was carried out to increase goods/cargo flow. Due to this reduction, the maritime industry demonstrated growth of more than 20% in 2018 -19 years, and is still growing despite the crisis," Ukraine's Former Infrastructure Minister stated.
His questioning is set for Friday, June 19.
As we reported earlier, on October 21, 2019, the prosecutor delivered the indictment in case of ex-Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan to the Supreme Anti-Corruption Court.