Oh yes they do....
Well no surprises here for the vast majority of the population in Ukraine. In fact it’s well known that ALL people connected to the Ukraine Government are expected to be involved in stealing money. It’s a way of life in Ukraine. But what is interesting this time is that the new government has brought in a team of lawyers and investigators from the US to conduct an audit on some of the ‘suspect activities’ of the previous government in Ukraine. In a nutshell, the team of ‘investigators’ looked at six cases ‘in depth’ involving the pure theft of state money and also the misuse of state funds authorised by the previous Prime Minister – Yulia Tymoshenko during her term of office.
The team of investigators from US firms Trout Cacheris PLLC, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Kroll Inc produced a report this week which claims they have evidence to show how certain departments from the previous government in Ukraine were involved in the theft of state funds and/or the misuse of state funds during the period 2008-2009 and the first quarter of 2010.
So for the first time in the history of Ukraine, people have a step by step explanation of some of the situations in government where people have been involved in stealing money from the state budget with EVIDENCE. Admittedly all this is just evidence, yet to be produced in a court of law (if ever it gets that far). But it’s a major step forward towards demonstrating some of the acts of theft/fraud that have been taking place for many years here in Ukraine, but the majority of people have been powerless to do any thing about..
Unfortunately, many of the companies used in the process of ‘stealing’ this money are British registered companies. Not that ‘Brits’ are involved, but companies registered in England & Wales and also in Scotland used by foreign nationals as ‘Shell Companies” or legal entities purely designed for money laundering purposes.
Registering a British company is still very easy and quick and without any real checks on who is behind these companies. I suspect that HM Inspectorates are busy chasing ‘Brits’ for other reasons. But that’s freedom and democracy for you.
Anyhow the report provides interesting examples of how money has been stolen from the Ukraine State Budget. Including:
One case where 27 vehicles were purchased at highly inflated prices at GBP 1.8million.
Another where the government pre-paid in 2009 for 22,000 tons of sugar at GBP 20 million and as at today only 5,000 tons have been delivered.
In 2009 again, the Ukraine government received Euro 320 million for the sale of ‘Carbon Credits’ under the framework of the Kyoto Protocol and how the previous government failed to use these funds for environmental projects but used the funds to support the State Pension Fund.
In another case the Ukrainian Ministry of Health was involved in the purchase of 1,000 vehicles from an Austrian company, the later organised a line of credit with an Austrian bank for the same government department involving very high fees involving Euro 100 million where the Austrian company was the sole supplier of goods.
Again in 2008-9 the Health Ministry was involved in the purchase of ‘Medical Equipment’ to the tune of GBP 29 million where items were purchased at highly inflated prices.
A full copy of the report can be seen here.