Ukraine says it has uncovered mass arms procurement fraud

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 3 Min Read
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(RockedBuzz through Reuters) – Ukraine’s SBU safety service mentioned on Saturday it had uncovered a corruption scheme within the buy of weapons by the nation’s military totaling round $40 million.

The announcement of the mass procurement fraud, confirmed by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, may have huge resonance in a rustic besieged by the almost two-year Russian invasion.

The battle to eradicate endemic corruption stays a serious subject as Ukraine pushes to safe European Union membership.

The SBU mentioned an investigation had “exposed officials of the Ministry of Defense and managers of the weapons supplier Lviv Arsenal, who stole almost 1.5 billion hryvnia in the purchase of projectiles.”

“According to the investigation, former and current senior officials of the Ministry of Defense and executives of affiliated companies are involved in the embezzlement.”

The embezzlement allegedly concerned the acquisition of 100,000 mortar rounds for the army.

The SBU mentioned a contract for the projectiles was made with the Lviv Arsenal in August 2022 – six months into the conflict – and fee was made prematurely, with some funds transferred overseas.

But no weapons had been ever supplied, the assertion mentioned, and a few funds had been then moved to different overseas accounts.

The assertion mentioned 5 folks had been served with “suspicious notices” – the primary stage of Ukraine’s judicial proceedings – at each the ministry and the weapons provider. One suspect, he mentioned, was arrested whereas making an attempt to cross the Ukrainian border.

Corruption throughout the army has been a very delicate subject in Ukraine as it tries to take care of wartime public morale and make its case to hitch the 27-nation EU.

Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov was fired final September over numerous corruption instances regardless of having a powerful status for representing Ukraine in discussions with Western allies.

Although he has not been personally accused of corruption, a number of instances have affected the army beneath his management, one for offering meals to the troops, one other for procuring appropriate clothes for the army.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Maria Starkova; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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