SBU unveils large-scale illegal logging in forestry enterprises in western, northern Ukraine
During the special operation, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), together with investigators from the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), unveiled the facts of large-scale logging in state-run forestry enterprises in the west and north of Ukraine, which caused damage to the state in the amount of about UAH 14 million.
The press service of the SBU said that a number of facts of illegal cutting of valuable trees by forestry officials "not only caused major damage to the state, but also caused devastating floods this year."
"In Zhytomyr region, law enforcement officers exposed illegal felling of trees by forestry enterprises during the recovery of forests. The illegal business was "set up" by the head of one of the state-owned forestry enterprises of the region. It included officials of the state forest guard, a specialized forest protection enterprise and businessmen," the SBU said.
For three years, employees of the state-owned enterprise carried out illegal logging and entered false information in the official documentation. During August-September 2019 alone, more than 300 trees of various species were destroyed there. Their value is almost UAH 2.5 million.
Some 15 persons involved in the crime were informed of suspicion of committing criminal offenses under Article 246, 358, 365, 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, as part of an organized group for various types of complicity.
Also, SBU agents exposed officials of a number of state-owned forestry enterprises, who organized illegal logging in Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia regions. "They hid logging, including logging of century-old oaks. They caused damage to the state for more than UAH 11.5 million," the press service said.
Based on the results of the raids and the evidence obtained, six employees of forestry enterprises were informed about the suspicion of committing crimes under Part 2 of Article 364 (abuse of power or official position) and Part 1 of Article 367 (negligence) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.