SSU detains heads of State Customs Service department who imposed tribute on regional customs

The Security Service of Ukraine jointly with the Prosecutor General’s Office shut down a large-scale corruption scheme in the Central Office of the State Customs Service.

As a result of the operation, the Director of the Departmental Security and Control Department of the State Customs Service and his deputy were detained in Kyiv.

According to the investigation, the department’s leadership systematically extorted illegal benefits from heads of regional customs offices.

For the bribes, they promised not to create artificial obstacles in their professional activities.

For the ‘tribute’, the heads of departmental security also promised to cover up cases of misconduct.

It took over a year to document the crime. During this time, at least 8 episodes of monthly extortion were recorded.

The organizers involved their subordinate from a regional office of the State Customs Service in the criminal activity.

The law enforcement detained the department head, his deputy and one of the heads of the regional customs ‘red-handed’ while receiving over a bribe.

Based on the evidence, all three detainees were served notices of suspicion under two Articles of the CCU:

  • 368.3 (acceptance of an offer, promise or receipt of an unlawful benefit by an official);
  • 369.3 (offer, promise or giving of an unlawful benefit to an official).

In addition, a former head of one of the regional customs offices will also be declared suspect under Article 369.3 of the CCU.

28 searches are underway at the Central Office of the State Customs Service, as well as at regional security and control units in the Western, Southern and Central regions.

The investigative actions are aimed at identifying and bringing to justice the entire chain of people involved in the scheme.

The suspects face up to 10 years in prison with confiscation of property.

The operation is conducted under the procedural supervision of the Prosecutor General’s Office.