The SBI stopped a large-scale corruption scheme of officials at the crossing of the demarcation line in the Zaporizhzhia region
The State Bureau of Investigation, in close coordination with state and law enforcement agencies, systematically fights corruption schemes of officials, especially if it concerns the war zone and residents living in nearby areas or temporarily occupied territories.
To implement the protocol decision of the coordination meeting chaired by Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin regarding fighting crime under martial law, the SBI initiated a set of preventive and procedural measures to fight corruption in this area.
Under the procedural leadership of the Prosecutor General's Office and in transparent cooperation with the Deputy Prime Minister-Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk, the State Bureau of Investigation exposed a large-scale scheme of illegal enrichment in Zaporizhzhia. The illegal, daily profit amounted to 2 million hryvnias.
In May of this year, a decision of the Defense Council of the Zaporizhia Region approved the Procedure for Crossing the Line of Contact by Citizens of Ukraine. According to it, Ukrainians must submit appropriate applications, which authorized persons to consider, and relevant lists are formed on their basis.
The procedure was adopted so that Ukrainians could move safely and quickly across the contact line, but separate "sections" of the Zaporizhzhia MA, the city council, as well as law enforcement agencies, organized a criminal scheme to obtain illegal benefits for the "quick" and positive consideration of such applications.
To do this, they created artificial obstacles, delayed time, or deliberately made mistakes while processing documents. As a result, the time for consideration of applications for departure was unreasonably prolonged and amounted to 4 to 5 weeks, or at all - a person was refused to cross the contact line because the documents contained inaccurate data.
To speed up the procedure, those willing were offered to pay. A whole system of levies on citizens was developed, depending on the means of transportation and the speed of consideration of the issue. In particular, from one car, the illegal profit could be up to 800 US dollars. Specially engaged intermediaries received the money.
On August 13, SBI employees conducted more than 20 searches in: Zaporizhzhia MA, city council, and law enforcement agencies of the region, including persons who may be involved in this criminal scheme. As a result, draft records, documents, illegally obtained funds, means of communication, and other things were seized.
Among other things, SBI investigators arrested one of the intermediaries "red-handed" at the time of the funds transfer in amount of USD 1,400 for "positive" consideration of the person's application. The detainee promised to solve the issue with the registration of documents necessary for leaving the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine in just two days for a "symbolic" fee.
Notification to the perpetrators of suspicion is being prepared.
The Bureau's work in strengthening the fight against crime in martial law conditions will constantly continue in fruitful cooperation with all authorities.