The Security Service has exposed large-scale schemes of embezzlement of public funds allocated for food supply to Defense Forces units. According to the SBU, the amount of damage caused to the Ministry of Defense is more than UAH 119.5 million ($2.7 million)
"Budget money was transferred to the accounts of enterprises that did not even have a production base and technological equipment to provide relevant services," the report says.
Instead of supplying certain volumes of food products to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the scheme participants withdrew funds into the shadows through a number of affiliated companies.
Based on the collected evidence, two managers of enterprises involved in the scheme have already been notified of suspicion under Part 5 of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misappropriation, embezzlement of property or taking it by abuse of official position).
An investigation is underway to establish the involvement of Defense Ministry officials in illegal activities.
What is known about the scandal with the purchase of food for the Armed Forces of Ukraine?
On Jan. 21, the Ukrainian outlet ZN (Mirror Weekly) revealed an alleged scam involving officials at the Ministry of Defense who used a dummy corporation to overprice food products for the army.
The newspaper story was based on a leak from a source within the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the publication, a contract price was Hr.13 billion, or about $330 million.
According to ZN, a private company involved in a scam was operating on the market without clearance from the state tax service of Ukraine. It was officially registered in an apartment block, often a red flag for a front company.
“The most common products turned out to be overpriced two to threefold,” ZN claims.
“That is most likely a phony company created by professionals supplying products for the military.”
The Defense Ministry has denounced the claim and announced an investigation into this leak.
“The Ministry of Defense is preparing materials for the Security Service of Ukraine for the purpose of investigating the publication of false information that harms the interests of defense,” a formal statement on Jan. 21 said.
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