Ukrainian Officials Arrested Over $30,000 Bribery Scheme

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.10 - 2024 3:04 PM CET

Two novomoskovsk officials have been arrested over a $30,000 bribery scheme.

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Law enforcement officials in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine, have arrested the mayor of Novomoskovsk, Serhii Reznik, and the city council's secretary, Volodymyr Arutyunov, on charges of soliciting a $30,000 bribe.

The bribe was allegedly demanded from an entrepreneur seeking to convert a school building into a dormitory for displaced individuals, an initiative supported financially by an international humanitarian organization.

A Bribe for a Benevolent Cause

The State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) and the Office of the Prosecutor General reported that the bribe was intended to facilitate the long-term lease of the school premises—abandoned since the 1990s—without the need for a public tender.

This arrangement would have expedited the process of converting the 4.5 thousand square meter building into suitable accommodation for those displaced by conflict.

Caught in the Act

The arrest occurred on April 9, 2024, as the entrepreneur handed over the bribe to Arutyunov in his office, under the watchful eyes of law enforcement.

This intervention has exposed a deep-seated corruption scheme aimed at exploiting humanitarian efforts for personal gain.

Following their detention, Reznik and Arutyunov were formally charged with extortion and receiving an illegal benefit of a particularly large amount.

Authorities are now deliberating on a suitable preventive measure for the suspects, as the investigation broadens to identify other possible accomplices in this corrupt enterprise. This includes probing into the involvement of local law enforcement officers who may have facilitated the bribery scheme.

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