Customs officers who wanted to enrich themselves during the war will stand trial


The SBI continues to uncompromisingly counteract crimes at the customs, an essential source of state budget revenues during the war. The large-scale operation "Customs for Ukraine" continues.

SBI employees have completed a pre-trial investigation against three customs officials who, despite the ongoing hostilities in the country, decided to enrich themselves by using their authorities.

The indictments have been sent to court.

The former deputy head of the Luzhanka customs post and the chief state inspector of this customs post were involved in the illegal importation of a truck with electronics of a well-known brand into Ukraine without paying customs duties.

In the summer of 2022, a truck with electronics of a well-known American brand worth over UAH 87 million entered Ukraine from Hungary. In total, it was carrying more than 3,000 pieces of electronics of the well-known brand: mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches, laptops and headphones.

Customs officers let the car through the so-called "green corridor" and certified the absence of goods subject to declaration and payment of customs duties. Thus, the state budget did not receive more than UAH 14 million in taxes and fees.

However, with the assistance of the State Bureau of Investigation, all the illegally imported equipment was seized and transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The former deputy head of the customs post is accused of negligence that led to grave consequences (Article 367(2) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), and the former chief state inspector is accused of abuse of power that led to grave consequences (Article 364(2) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanction of the articles provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to 6 years. Both defendants were fired from their jobs at the customs office.

Another case involved a senior state inspector of the Odesa Customs who, in October 2022, set up a scheme of extortion in exchange for not causing any obstacles in the customs clearance of humanitarian aid. Even though there were preferential conditions for its clearance.

The inspector demanded USD 1,200 from a representative of a charity for letting a humanitarian cargo of food pass through. In return for this money, he supposedly guaranteed to influence customs officials to not create obstacles in the customs clearance of the goods.

The inspector was detained red-handed while receiving another part of the payment in the amount of USD 500.

He is accused of obtaining an unlawful benefit for himself for influencing the decision-making of a person authorised to perform state functions, combined with extortion of such benefit (part 3 of Article 369-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanction of the article provides for a sentence of up to 8 years in prison.

The case is under the supervision of the Transcarpathian and Odesa Regional Prosecutor's Offices.