Vasyl Rakul, a Defense Ministry official charged with corruption, has been released from jail after posting bail of Hr 10 million ($373,000).
Rakul, the head of the Defense Ministry’s Department for Major Construction, was arrested on July 27 in Odesa, the Black Sea city 450 kilometers south of Kyiv, allegedly while attempting to bribe someone.
Law enforcement said the official demanded $1 million from a local developer to win a rigged tender to build living quarters for military personnel.
On July 30, the Kyiv Pechersk District Court jailed Rakul for 60 days or until he posted bail.
Rakul denies all charges.
Read more: Odesa bribery case raises alarm in military housing
The latest case adds to Rakul’s laundry list of problems with the law.
Under his leadership, the Odesa Construction Factory, a Defense Ministry asset, went bankrupt.
According to law enforcement, he took out a loan, using the factory’s property as collateral, then siphoned money and assets to himself through two bogus companies registered in the Russian-occupied part of Luhansk Oblast. Rakul denies these allegations as well.
Despite being under two criminal investigations, Rakul was able to keep getting high-level appointments.
The latest bribery charges caused a stir about the lack of transparency in the defense sector even as Ukraine is under attack by Russia.
“As we and other lawmakers raise funds to purchase drones for the war front, to help somehow modernize our troops, Defense Ministry officials try to profit in a dirty way,” Roman Ivanisov, a lawmaker with 243-seat faction Servant of the People and member of the Verkhovna Rada’s anti-corruption committee, told the Kyiv Post.
“Just imagine how many veteran families could have been provided with housing with $1 million.”
Similar bribery schemes are thriving in other sectors as well, the lawmaker said.
“The other day, my fellow committee members and I went public about corruption in the issuance of sailing licenses and qualifications,” he said. “Out of the blue, (officials) demanded between $3,000 and $15,000. We need to make legislative changes to minimize corruption risks.”
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