NABU makes public fragments of meetings of its agent with State Migration Service official
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has made public fragments of declassified audio and video materials obtained during secret investigative actions as part of a special operation to introduce a detective under cover into an organized criminal group operating in the State Migration Service of Ukraine.
In addition, an explanation in chronological order for this operation was posted on the Facebook page of the bureau.
The introduction of a NABU detective in the organized criminal group began in April this year.
"According to operational data, these individuals [former and current employees of the State Migration Service], acting in collusion, demanded and received money for granting foreigners the citizenship of Ukraine, residence permits on Ukrainian territory, and also, for remuneration, sped up the production of biometric passports for Ukrainian citizens," the NABU said in explanations.
The network of members of the criminal organization required increased conspiracy. Therefore, according to Article 8 of the law of Ukraine "On Operative and Search Activity" and Article 272 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, the bureau's detective was tasked with carrying out a special task under cover for the purpose of penetrating into this group. For this purpose, a legend was used, according to which the NABU detective acted in the interests of a foreign company interested in the official employment in Ukraine of its employees - citizens of other states. A NABU representative established direct contact with the first deputy head of the State Migration Service, which, "according to the latest information, was one of the leaders of a criminal organization."
On August 27, the NABU detective had an informal meeting with the official, during which he (according to the legend, a representative of a foreign company) applied for advice on the receipt of a foreign passport of Ukraine. The official of the migration service herself suggested using, as she said, "the only legal scheme" that would help realize such an intention, in particular "create" relatives for the foreigner in Ukraine by falsifying DNA tests and obtaining the respective court decision - in aggregate this data set is the basis for granting citizenship, the NABU said.
According to the official, this option will be "expensive." "Thirty [thousand U.S. dollars] is a minimum," she said, assuring: "We'll do everything, believe me." She personally handed over the list of necessary documents on the same day.
On September 7, at a meeting, she again confirmed the amount announced and clarified that it was about $30,000.
"However, when, in early October, the national bureau's detective brought a package of documents mentioned earlier, the official was probably already aware of the identity of the detective under cover and his affiliation with the NABU, so she refused to accept them. In response to the reaction of the official, the NABU detective under cover in the future supported exclusively informal communication with the purpose of preserving the legend," the NABU said.
A scheme of criminal activities on the provision of migration services with the participation of other State Migration Service officials, territorial units and individuals as intermediaries was established by that time, and the first deputy head of the migration service "played a key role" in this organization. Therefore, the refusal of the detective under cover from further contact with her would confirm her suspicions and would create obstacles to the further documentation of the activities of the organized crime group.
On November 23, a dinner was held at the initiative of the first deputy head of the State Migration Service, during which she asked whether the foreigner's case concerning the acquisition of citizenship had been resolved. The detective answered that he did not have information about that foreigner, but there was another one who needed to obtain a temporary residence permit in Ukraine.
On November 24, the official proposed that documents be brought. After the transfer of documents on November 27, she called the detective under cover and said that it would be easier to resolve this issue, but the amount would be the same - $30,000. In case of consent, she offered to transfer half of the sum to her on November 29.
On that day, during the transfer of this amount, the detective, who worked under cover, was detained by officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and prosecutors of the Prosecutor General's Office. Thus, the special operation by the NABU and the SAPO on exposing a large-scale corruption scheme at the State Migration Service was disrupted.
In addition to clarification, the NABU posted a video of an informal meeting, during which the official asked the detective to exchange UAH 50,000 received from a third party and which, she said, could be a controlled bribe. Explaining her actions, she noted that she needed the exchange in order to exclude the possibility of identifying these banknotes.
The NABU specified that these actions had been documented under the supervision of SAPO prosecutors as part of an operational case on the basis of a resolution of the investigating judge and in accordance with the law "On Operative and Search Activity."
As reported, the State Migration Service reported earlier about the detention of a NABU agent who was trying to give a bribe to the first deputy head of the migration service, Dina Pimakhova.