The Chief Military Prosecutor's office sent to court 7 indictments against 5 former and current Defense Ministry officials and 2 commercial enterprise employees, all suspected of stealing state funds on an especially large scale and of official negligence during the purchase of helmets and bullet-proof vests in 2014-2015.
"Five former and current heads of the State Procurement and Material Resources Supply Department of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine were informed of suspicion in committing crimes under Part 2 of Section 367 (official negligence) and Part 2 of Section 425 (negligent attitude to military service) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine,"the General Prosecutor Office's statement said.
Pre-trial investigation revealed that officials signed a number of contracts for the supply of helmets and bulletproof vests for the Armed Forces at a price with a value added tax; although for the period of carrying out the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) these goods are tax free by law.
"Based on the payment orders signed by them, the Ministry of Defense illegally paid an amount of 32.6 million hryvnia (about $1.27 million) in the form of value added tax to the supplier enterprise account during 2014-2015. Besides, the price of delivered helmets and bulletproof vests has been unreasonably increased by some additional agreements to the contracts that led to the ministry incurring unnecessary expenses for a total of more than 1.5 million hryvnia or about $58,000," the General Prosecutor's Office reported.
In connection to the case, the supplier enterprise’s director and chief accountant who appropriated 34.1 million hryvnia ($1.32 million) were also officially suspected of violating Part 5 of Section 139 of the Criminal Code: seizure of another’s property by abuse of official position on an especially large scale. The personal property of the suspects was seized and forfeited to the State.