Lviv customs: extensive smuggling of branded clothing using forged documents
A large-scale scheme of smuggling brand name clothes to Ukraine using forged documents was blocked by SBU in cooperation with SBI (State Bureau of Investigations) under supervision of Prosecutor General's Office.
Officers of the SBU Main Department for Fighting Corruption and Organised Crime found that the importers smuggled clothes from the EU under the guise of second-hand. Each batch was valued at least USD 400,000.
Reportedly, the importers were ordering brand name clothes in an EU country and forging documents for customs clearance as second-hand clothes, without paying due customs charges. The state budget was raided for at least UAH one million (USD 40,000) for each batch.
Usually, clothes with forged documents were transferred using “red line” inspection procedure during certain officers’ shift. Preliminary investigation findings suggest that customs officials set up a scheme of fast-track customs clearance, in prior conspiracy with import distributors. The customs officials did not follow the necessary procedure during customs clearance, allowing import of clothes with forged documents.
The searches are being conducted at the border entry point, customs terminal and customs clearance department in Lviv region, as well as at the residences of customs officials. The investigative actions are also conducted at the importers’ offices and the residences of top managers in Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopil and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Some 40 searches are running. The SBI investigators are documenting suspects’ involvement in the illegal activity.
The investigation is ongoing upon the facts of taxes and duties evasion, abuse of authority or office and taking a bribe (Part 3 of Art. 212, Part 2 of Art. 364, Part 3 of Art. 368 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).
Pre-trial investigation is under way.
SBU Press Centre
For the Attention of the SBU Head