The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has decided to dismiss the leadership of the State Customs Service. It is reported by RBC-Ukraine with reference to the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers in the Verkhovna Rada Taras Melnychuk and Cabinet Minister Oleg Nemchinov.
Vyacheslav Demchenko, acting head of the customs service, and his deputy, Alexander Shchutsky, have lost their posts. The new acting head of customs will be the current deputy chairman Sergei Zvyagintsev.
In addition, the government launched disciplinary proceedings against another deputy head of customs, Ruslan Cherkassky. During the disciplinary proceedings, he was removed from his post.
Earlier, People’s Deputy Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote about layoffs in the customs service in his telegram channel, and David Arakhamia, head of the Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada, also reported about this.
In early January, the Security Service of Ukraine reported on “exposing a criminal scheme to embezzle funds from the export of Ukrainian grain.” The SBU claimed that this could be connected, among other things, with the deputy head of one of the departments of the State Customs Service.
The State Bureau of Investigation stated that in 2022 it exposed crimes at customs, the damage is estimated at almost 400 million hryvnias (about $11 million).
Today, the office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine announced an investigation against high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in the case of corruption in public procurement for the army. At the same time, searches were carried out in Ukraine at the homes of oligarch Igor Kolomoisky and ex-head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov.
The presentation of suspicions to high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine is connected with the recent scandal with the purchase of food for the Armed Forces of Ukraine at inflated prices: this is one of the main topics that have been discussed in Ukraine in recent days.
Commenting on today’s searches, the head of the SBU, Vasily Malyuk, said that there was a “working out of persons who, by their actions, harm the security of the state in various fields.”
“We are fulfilling the task set by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and simultaneously delivering a global strike against the internal enemy. Mass searches, filing suspicions and detaining malefactors of various calibers are clear evidence of this,” Malyuk said.
Last week, the heads of five regional military administrations (OVA) were fired in Ukraine. The Cabinet of Ministers supported the draft decrees of Vladimir Zelensky on the dismissal of the heads of the Dnipropetrovsk (Valentin Reznichenko), Sumy (Dmitry Zhyvitsky), Zaporozhye (Oleksandr Starukh), Kherson (Yaroslav Yanushevich) and Kyiv (Aleksey Kuleba) OVAs.
Kuleba was appointed deputy head of the president’s office, and Kirill Timoshenko, who previously held this post, resigned.
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