25 October 2016

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Ukraine fires embassy worker in Slovakia over tobacco smuggling

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko has announced that First Secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in Slovakia Oksana Lishchyshyn, who was reportedly involved in tobacco smuggling, was fired, according to the news portal Europeiska Pravda.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry punished its employee for smuggling / Photo from UNIAN
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry punished its employee for smuggling / Photo from UNIAN

"The reason behind her dismissal is oath breaking. It is related to a smuggling episode. It was done on the grounds of the conclusions of an internal investigation," he said, Europeiska Pravda wrote.

Probe launched into cigarette smuggling by Ukraine embassy employeesInvestigators from the Prosecutor's Office in Zakarpattia region opened criminal proceedings "on charges of abuse of power or misuse of office, as well as forgery by officials of the Ukrainian Embassy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Slovakia (Part 2, Article 364 and Part 2, Article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine)."

Yet, Prystaiko said, the Foreign Ministry has not received the prosecutors' conclusions regarding the case.

PM Groysman supports greater material liability for smuggling"Unfortunately, the period of an internal investigation is limited, so we did not have time to wait for the conclusion of the law enforcement agencies. But I hope that the prosecutor's office and the court will give a proper assessment of Oksana Lishchyshyn's activity," he said.

On May 23, Lishchyshyn's husband was reported to be attempting to smuggle almost 60,000 packs of cigarettes as diplomatic freight from Ukraine in a car with a diplomatic license number.

Later it became known that it was not Serhiy Lishchyshyn's first trip, he had crossed the border dozens of times while allegedly smuggling goods.

Immediately after the incident, Oksana Lishchyshyn was invited to Kyiv, and the Foreign Ministry started an internal investigation into her activity.

Commenting on the situation around this scandal, head of the ministry's office Vadym Prystaiko said that "the ministry is extremely sensitive to such incidents with crooked employees damaging its reputation, but it is not going to cover anyone."

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