The SBI exposed a criminal group of officials who had cut down 100-year-old oak trees worth UAH 60 million in the Chornobyl Nature Reserve


The employees of the SBI, with the assistance of the National Police, have served the notification of suspicion to the acting director of the state enterprise «Pivnichna Pushcha» and his accomplices. Criminals have organized illegal logging of the valuable oaks on the territory of the Chornobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Nature Reserve.

It was established, that in December 2023, the head of the state-owned enterprise organized the illegal logging of 185 oak trees on the territory of the Denisovets Forestry of the state enterprise «Pivnichna Pushcha», which belongs to the Chornobyl Nature Reserve. He had involved three civilians in carrying out his plan and issued them special passes to the territory of the nature reserve.

The official showed to the executors the territory for the logging, on which more than 100-year-old oaks were growing. The workers were assisted by the law enforcement officer who accompanied the transport with felled wood.

The accomplices had taken the wood to one of the capital's wood receiving points, where it was sold based on fictitious documents.

The total amount of state losses is more than UAH 59 million.

The acting director of the state enterprise «Pivnichna Pushcha», the law enforcement officer and three civilians were served notification of suspicions of illegal logging and sale of the forest, that entailed grave consequences, upon prior conspiracy by a group of persons (Article 27, Article 28, Part 4 of Article 246 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanction of the Article provides for imprisonment for up to 7 years.

Also, based on the results of the searches conducted, more than 350 cubic meters of felled wood were seized, which the persons involved in case had no time to sell.

The pre-trial investigation continues, the complete circle of persons involved in the unlawful activity is being established.

The procedural guidance is provided by the Specialized Environmental Prosecutor's Office of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.