SSU exposes Zhytomyr customs chief on systemic corruption

The SSU has shut down a large-scale corruption scheme at Zhytomyr Customs. The leadership of this entity systemically extorted ‘tributes’ from local businessmen.

According to the investigation, the organizer of the scheme is the head of Zhytomyr Customs. The official involved a chief of unit and a local broker as intermediaries in the unlawful activity.

The customs officials extorted bribes from local businessmen who imported various goods to Ukraine.

In exchange for the money, they promised not to create artificial obstacles during customs clearance. If entrepreneurs refused, the customs representatives threatened with additional inspections, delays and downtime.

In the course of the operation, the SSU documented two episodes of bribery.

The SSU detained the chief of Zhytomyr customs, the chief of the customs value control unit and the involved customs broker ‘red-handed’, when they received another illegal benefit.

Urgent investigative activities are underway at the suspects’ offices and homes.

Investigators are preparing notices of suspicion for the detained under the Article 368.3 of the CCU (acceptance of an offer, promise or receipt of an unlawful benefit by an official).

The SSU carried out the operation under the procedural supervision of Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office.

The activities are conducted pursuant to the instruction of the President of Ukraine to strengthen systemic work in the area of combating corruption and shadow mechanisms at customs, as well as to ensure stable functioning of the state’s financial system under martial law.

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