Ukrainian authorities raided and searched the home of the acting head of the Kiev Tax Department, collecting a lot of cash, watches and cars in an anti-corruption crackdown.
The State Bureau of Investigation of Ukraine (SBI) said on February 1 that it was conducting a search in the investigation of Ms. Oksana Datii, acting head of the Kiev Tax Department, with allegations of involvement in a corruption case on value taxes. worth $1.2 billion.
SBI agents searched three of Datii’s apartments in Kiev, seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, as well as watches and cars. In addition to three apartments totaling around $1 million, Datti also owns a $200,000 house in the suburbs and two cars that cost around $150,000.
The acting head of the Kiev Department of Taxation is also accused of amassing many other assets, such as expensive jewelry and designer clothes, with a total value of about $1.4 million. SBI believes that this amount of assets is not suitable for the income of a head of the tax department.
Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) said the raid was part of an effort to fight “internal enemies” in the country. “Those who commit crimes against Ukraine, especially in wartime, must clearly understand that they will be handcuffed by us,” said Vasyl Maliuk, head of the SBU.
The raids come as President Volodymyr Zelensky said the government was implementing “new reforms” that would make the country “more humane, more transparent, more efficient”, as he prepared to meet officials European Union on February 3 to negotiate the possibility of Ukraine joining the EU.
Anti-corruption measures “are an important part of the EU accession process”, Ana Pisonero, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said on January 24.
Several other raids across the country were conducted on February 1, including the search of the property of former interior minister Arsen Avakok, who was involved in the investigation into the Super Puma ES-helicopter crash. 225 on January 18, killing 14 people.
Avakov was the head of the Interior Ministry when it signed the contract to buy the Super Puma ES-225 from France in 2018. On February 1, he declared that he had not done anything wrong and the contract to buy the helicopter was approved by the parliament. approve. Ukrainian authorities said they were investigating all possible causes of the accident, including pilot error, technical malfunction and sabotage.
The raids come after Zelensky fired a series of senior Ukrainian officials amid a growing corruption scandal involving the procurement of wartime supplies. This is Ukraine’s biggest government reshuffle since Russia launched its military campaign in the country.
David Arakhamia, leader of the majority faction in Ukraine’s parliament, said the authorities were conducting “a spring sweep operation instead of a tree-planting operation”.
“The country will change in the war,” Arakhamia said. “If someone is not ready for change, the state will come and help them change.”
Hong Hanh (Theo CNN)