14:17 18.06.2009

UAH 1.5 b in budget funds embezzled since year-start, interior minister says

During the first five months of 2009, Ukraine's interior ministry agencies uncovered 4,800 crimes linked to the embezzlement of budget funds, Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko has said.

"This is significantly more than [over the same period] last year. We had UAH 1.52 billion embezzled, and police managed to arrest UAH 756 million," he said at a council with the chiefs of main interior departments in Lviv on Thursday.

Lutsenko said that this year's sum of embezzled funds was double the amount seen last year. He said police would do all they could to punish those guilty of these crimes.

Lutsenko said that if there are any illegal actions by officials, the police couldn't not bring any case to court, because this was in the competence of prosecutors.

"We find around 3,000 bribe takers each year, but of these, only 57 people were held to account," he said.

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