Detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine detained seven people, including the director of Budcenter Vityaz company, on suspicion of embezzling the state budget allocated for the Wall project.
According to the investigation, as a result of alleged criminal acts, the state suffered a total of more than UAH 16 million (about $62,000) in damage.
Among the detainees are officials of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and directors of contracting companies.
The suspects were transferred to Kyiv. They have faced charges under Embezzlement of Property in Especially Large Amounts and Service Forgery articles. Border guards are also suspected of violating legislation on military service.
In parallel, detectives conduct searches in Kyiv and Kyiv region, Chernihiv and Kharkiv. They are addressing the issue of other persons’ detention as well.
Investigators are preparing an application to Solomensky District Court of Kyiv for a pretrial restraining order in the form of detention with an alternative to bailment.
The criminal case of embezzlement of public funds allocated for the Wall construction was opened in March 2016.
The project to strengthen the state border of Ukraine began in 2014. For today only 15% of the planned fencing is built. In April 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers extended the implementation of the Wall until 2018–2020 due to underfunding. In 2017 there is a plan to spend UAH 500 million (about $19 million).
The Wall project can remain unfinished construction for a long time and can be officials’ source of enrichment.
Text: Anastasia Mitrofanova