SBU presses charges against MoD officials in UAH 1.5B embezzlement case

SBU presses charges against MoD officials in UAH 1.5B embezzlement case

The Security Service of Ukraine, with the assistance of the Ministry of Defense, exposed defense officials and management from Lviv Arsenal company, who are believed to have embezzled almost UAH 1.5 billion in the procurement of mortar rounds.

This was reported by the SBU press service via Telegram, Ukrinform saw.

"The investigation learned that former and current high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and heads of affiliated companies were involved in the embezzlement scheme. The perpetrators attempted to steal almost UAH 1.5 billion from the state budget designed for the purchase of 100,000 mortar rounds for the Armed Forces," the report says.

According to detectives, in August 2022, officials concluded a contract for the purchase of a wholesale batch of rounds with Lviv Arsenal.

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After that, the Ministry of Defense transferred the entire amount stipulated in the contract to the company's accounts.

It is noted that after receiving the funds, the company's management forwarded part of the money to the balance sheet of a foreign entity that was supposed to deliver the ordered munitions to Ukraine.

"However, it never sent a single round to our country while moving the money into the shadow, transferring them to the accounts of another affiliated entity in the Balkans. The rest of the amount received the Ministry of Defense remained in the accounts of the Ukrainian company in one of the Kyiv-based banks," the report says.

SBU operarives documented the embezzlement scheme and identified all perpetrators involved. The embezzled funds have been seized, and the question of their return to the Ukrainian budget is being resolved.

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According to the SBU, five persons believed to be complicit in the crime were charged under Art. 191 Part 5 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (embezzlement conspiracy involving officials).

It is noted that charges were pressed against former and current heads of the Department of Military-Technical Policy, Development of Weaponry and Military Equipment at the Ministry of Defense, the CEO and CCO of the Lviv Arsenal company, as well as their accomplice, a representative of a foreign entity.

The SBU detained one of the suspects as they were trying to cross out of Ukraine. That person is now in custody. The court is yet decide on warranting arrests of other culprits.

Perpetrators face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the SBU jointly with the National Police under the procedural guidance of the Office of the Prosecutor General.

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