Major corruption scheme uncovered in Odesa

23 December 2022, 09:56 PM
Odesa (Photo:REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis)

Odesa (Photo:REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis)

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has foiled a sprawling corruption scheme in Odesa, which illegally monopolized municipal governance in the city, NABU’s chief detective Andriy Kaluzhynskyi said in an interview with ZN.UA on Dec. 23.

“... each region has its own more or less influential players, but we have no record of anyone ‘monopolizing’ local governance as much as (it was) in Odesa,” said Kaluzhynskyi.

“The suspects were conspiring so thoroughly, they had special rooms with eavesdropping protection…, they held their most important meetings and discussions there.”

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According to Kaluzhynskyi, about a year and a half ago NABU detectives received information about illegal influence of certain individuals on Odesa municipal and regional authorities. They found evidence that “these people actually influenced all decisions made by local authorities, and actively abused this influence.”

The NABU detective said that the bureau is conducting numerous proceedings in regard to various schemes in Odesa: “In our opinion, we have collected enough evidence to hold top local government officials accountable for the revealed facts of corruption.”

On Dec. 5, NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) reported that they had exposed a new criminal organization in Odesa.

According to the investigation, its leaders were Boris Kaufman and his partner Oleksandr Borukhovich (former last name Granovsky), who accumulated an average of UAH 12 million ($325,000) in monthly income.

NABU and SAP allege that members of the organization regularly bribed officials of Odesa City Council to make them pass decisions beneficial to the criminal organization.

On Dec. 8, Kaufman was released on bail of UAH 129 million ($3.5 million). Borukhovich was sent into custody with a bail of UAH 124 million ($3.4 million), Yefremov – with a bail of UAH 19.8 million ($536,000).

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