The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) uncovered a criminal group from Dnipro with plans to sell stolen MiG-29 fighter spare parts to Russia.
The suspects aimed to offer starter generators and air pumps with spare parts for aircraft valued at more than Hr.10 million ($273,000).
A Dnipropetrovsk resident allegedly stole the equipment in 2019 from a Ukrainian manufacturing company. Subsequently, the individual entrusted the pilfered military products to a known business owner for storage and eventual sale, the SBU stated in a Monday press release.
The business owner concealed the aircraft components at his service station for an extended period. Eventually, he advertised the spare parts for sale on a specialized website, the SBU said.
The SBU stated: “Representatives of the military-industrial complex of Russia, seeking spare parts for combat aircraft, expressed interest in the published advertisement.”
Ukrainian special service personnel managed to stop the sale to Russia. During a search of the maintenance station, SBU officials seized 10 air pumps, two starter generators, and a thousand other additional components.
Criminal proceedings have been initiated under Part 3 of Art. 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which pertains to the legalization (laundering) of property obtained through criminal means by an organized group on a particularly large scale. The suspects currently face up to 12 years in imprisonment.
The SBU stated that the aviation equipment is technically suitable for use in combat conditions.
Consequently, the court decided to allocate the seized products for the needs of the Ukrainian military, as MiG-29 aircraft are also utilized by the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Earlier Ukraine’s Security Service said it’s cracked down on an illegal passenger route between Ukraine and Russia used by collaborators to evade persecution.
The route, costing $350 per ticket, transited through multiple European countries before reaching Russia, with the occupied territories as its final destination.
The company, operating two buses and disguising itself as a local vehicle enterprise, was operated by a man from Zaporizhzhia in central Ukraine alongside his two accomplices. The man previously served a sentence for robbery, according to the SBU, and the company paid taxes and fees in Russia for “unimpeded movement.”
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