Ivan Bakanov: Organized crime is threat to state security as well as terrorism

Organized crime, as well as terrorism, is a threat to state security, since it is also used by foreign special services for subversive activity against Ukraine. The SBU Head Ivan Bakanov said in an exclusive interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

According to him, organized crime is used by foreign special services for intelligence and subversive activities against Ukraine, including financing of terrorism and separatism, and the corrupt infiltration of agents into government agencies. Most of NATO and EU special services, in particular in the USA, Austria, Belgium, France, Poland, counteract organized crime.

Ivan Bakanov believes that the approach which completely liquidates the system of combating organized crime in Ukraine is dangerous. There should be no privilege in fight against corruption and organize crime. Implementation of alternative jurisdiction over corruption and organized crime will promote effective competition between law enforcement agencies.  

Bakanov has emphasized that, in terms of investigation of economic crimes, there is a bias against SBU mostly because of assignments from other law enforcement agencies. For example, in 2019 the Service received 4200 assignments, 64% of which was outside SBU jurisdiction. This is the main reason to accuse the special service of investigations that do not fall under its competence. However, it is worth mentioning that it is not our initiative or abuse of power. We just follow the provisions of the current Criminal Procedure Code. Something must to be done about it. Unfortunately, norms aimed at regulation of this issue have been withdrawn in the new edition of the draft law registered by the parliament committee.

According to Bakanov, the security reform should prevent involvement of the SBU in investigation of economic, corruption and other crimes out of its jurisdiction.