Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yuriy Hrymchak and his assistant have been served a notice of suspicion under Article 190 (fraud) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
"On August 15, 2019, the deputy minister for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons, as well as his 'assistant,' who were detained yesterday, have been notified of suspicion," the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said on Facebook.
"Those persons' offence falls under Part 4 of Article 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. According to the investigation, the individuals by deception took possession of other people's property – money in a particularly large amount. They were exposed and detained immediately after receiving part of the unlawful gain on August 14, which was seized during the searches," NABU said.
The punishment of the crime under Part 4 of Article 190 "Fraud Committed on an Especially Large Scale or by an Organized Group" is imprisonment for a term of five to twelve years with confiscation of property.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Yuriy Hrymchak and his assistant were detained on Wednesday, August 14, on bribery charges.
NABU noted that the two officials demanded US$1.1 million from a representative of a legal entity allegedly for "exercising influence on decision-making by persons authorized to perform state functions." Hrymchak and his assistance were caught red-handed amid receiving part of the sum in the amount of US$480,000, NABU said.
Journalist Yuriy Butusov wrote on Facebook that Hrymchak's arrest had been authorized by Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.
"According to materials of the case, sources say that Hrymchak used his contacts with senior officials of another ministry – the Office for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Nature Reserves of the Ministry of Culture. This department, headed by Oleksandr Yepifanov, has long been known for 'trading' in building permits in historically important sites, primarily in Kyiv. If there is no such permission, the construction is illegal. [It's] only one signature, but how expensive it is. Hrymchak acted as an intermediary in resolving a corruption-related case," Butusov said.
On August 15, the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons said that Hrymchak's detention had nothing to do with that ministry's work.
The Culture Ministry, in turn, stressed that their officials were not involved in the Hrymchak case. Any accusations or suspicions regarding abuse of office in urban development by Culture Ministry employees were described by the ministry as "groundless, far-fetched and such that are not based on any norm of law."