Vasyl Lozynskyi, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine and former acting Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine, who was detained on 21 January 2023 by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), may have created an intricate embezzlement scheme that involved other Ukraine’s officials, according to NABU.
Lozynskyi is accused of receiving a bribe of $400,000 to conduct the procurement of generators from a particular company. Today NABU published new details of the investigation of the corruption scheme that Lozynskyi may have been involved in.
According to NABU, Lozynskyi was bribed to facilitate the conclusion of contracts for the purchase of critically important equipment and machinery at inflated prices. Lozynskyi is accused of intent to commit the offenses according to Article 368 (part 4), and Article 191 (part 5) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
The Article 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine stipulates the punishment for officials who accept an offer related to unlawful benefit. If Lozynskyi is pledged guilty, he will be sentenced to eight or 12 years in prison; all his property will be confiscated by the state.
The Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine stipulates the punishment for embezzlemnet and taking possession of property due to the abuse of power. In case Lozynskyi is found guilty, he will be sentenced to 7-12 years in prison; all his property will be confiscated by the state.
In summer 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (the Ukrainian government) allocated UAH 1.68 billion (around EUR 40 million) to purchase equipment and machinery in order to provide the population of Ukraine with alternative sources of electricity, heating and running water during winter and replenish the damage inflicted on Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure by Russia’s missile attacks.
According to NABU’s investigation, a number of officials of Ukraine’s government and regional authorities decided to appropriate a part of state funds by making a deal with a group of intermediaries to ensure the conclusion of contracts to purchase equipement at inflated prices (more than UAH 280 million higher than the ordinary price). In return, the officials involved in the corruption scheme had to be paid with UAH 280 million (around EUR 7 million).
Currently, the detectives of NABU carry out an urgent investigation to identify all members of the criminal group and bring them to justice. Over 150 of NABU’s employees take part in the investigation. Detectives conducted a number of searches in the offices of the suspects. In one of the offices, detectives found UAH 920,000 (around EUR 23,000) and $38,000 in cash.
Finally, one of the suspects was detained at night during an attempt to cross the border and leave Ukraine. The investigation is ongoing.