Pashynsky, his business partners notified of suspicion of illegal appropriation of petroleum products, causing UAH 1 bln damage to state budget
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine (SAPO) and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have announced suspicion to a former Ukrainian parliamentarian and his business partners for an illegal appropriation of petroleum products and causing damage to the state in the amount of around UAH 1 billion.
"The National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and the Security Service of Ukraine, on the materials of the State Audit Service, have announced suspicion to a former member of parliament, his business partner and their four accomplices," the SBU said on the Telegram channel on Monday.
According to the special service, they are suspected of the illegal appropriation and sale of 97,000 tonnes of petroleum products confiscated by the state that were supposed to be transferred for the needs of the army.
The SBU did not specify the name of the former parliamentarian, but it is about Serhiy Pashynsky.
"Thanks to the specialists of the State Audit Service of Ukraine, it was established that the deals concluded by them in 2014-2017 caused damage to the national budget in the amount of almost UAH 1 billion," it said.
The suspicion was announced under Articles 191 and 255 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
In 2014, the state confiscated around 100,000 tonnes of petroleum products from the structures affiliated with businessman Serhiy Kurchenko, the SBU said. The investigation established that the ex-MP used political lobbying to sell these petroleum products to a profile state enterprise in order to replenish the national budget. At that time, the state enterprise was managed by people controlled by the ex-MP's business partner.
"By order of the defendants, officials of this state enterprise facilitates the sale of almost 100,000 tonnes of petroleum products at a significantly lower price to a group of companies owned by the business partner of the former parliamentarian," the special service said.
According to the investigation, later these petroleum products were sold at the filling stations of this group of companies and other chains of filling stations, and the earned income was concentrated in the hands of the scheme beneficiaries.
To feign the transfer of the seized petroleum products for the needs of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, the state enterprise carried out such supplies on a commercial basis and the Defense Ministry paid in full for them.
At the same time, the Defense Ministry received only 1.6% of the so-called "Kurchenko's petroleum products," the SBU said.
"The rest was petroleum products procured from the same group of companies which, in turn, purchased them from Russia and Belarus. At the same time, the defendants sold the same nomenclature of goods to their group of companies at a half lower price than to the Armed Forces," it said.
According to the investigation, the former member of parliament, ensured "political cover for these deals using his influence and administrative leverage in relation to state enterprises, judicial and law enforcement agencies involved in the seizure of these petroleum products."
In 2020, a court issued a ruling on special confiscation of the funds earned on their sale in favor of the state. However, as the investigation established, by that time, the entire volume of the petroleum products and all money earned after selling them had been appropriated by the members of the criminal organization, and the national budget sustained losses in the amount of at least UAH 967 million.
The pre-trial investigation is in progress. The defendants are facing a punishment in the form of up to twelve years in jail.
Earlier, Pashynsky said that the SBU and the NABU searched his place of residence on Monday morning.
"Today morning, the SBU and the NABU conducted a search at my place. The case concerns the transfer of the 'Kurchenko fuel,' which in reality is fuel from the Kremlin's Rosneft, to the state," he said on Facebook.
Pashynsky denied the information that he was allegedly served with a suspicion during the search.