NewsUkrainian Security uncovers $40m heist from defense budget by inside agents

Ukrainian Security uncovers $40m heist from defense budget by inside agents

They tried to rob Ukraine of money for ammunition. Officials arrested.
They tried to rob Ukraine of money for ammunition. Officials arrested.
Images source: © SBU

10:17 AM EST, January 28, 2024, updated: 4:44 AM EST, March 7, 2024

The investigative officers found that a contract for purchasing ammunition from the supplier, Lvivskyi Arsenal, was signed in August 2022 by Defense Ministry employees. After the Ministry had paid the entire amount, a portion of the received funds was directed to an offshore account. It was initially stated that this account belonged to an entity that was to supply the required ammunition to Ukraine.

However, according to a statement released by the SBU on Saturday evening, the company did not forward a single shell and instead channeled the received funds to the accounts of a linked establishment in the Balkans. The remaining funds rest in a Kyiv bank account owned by a different Ukrainian company.

The monetary allocation had been intended for procuring 100,000 pieces of mortar ammunition for the Ukrainian military.

Investigation identifies five culprits

The investigation has found that five individuals, who were allegedly involved in this crime, had information about the possible commission of a crime. One of them was apprehended at the border while attempting to exit Ukraine. If convicted, they could face a sentence of up to 12 years of imprisonment along with asset confiscation. The embezzled money has been confiscated and is expected to be restored back to the state treasury.

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