Former senior defense official detained upon trying to leave Ukraine (Updated)
Oleh Hladkovsky, former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, was not allowed to cross out of Ukraine in the Boryspil Airport near Kyiv and was detained by NABU operatives shortly, according to ex-MP Serhiy Leshchenko.
Via his Telegram channel, Leshchenko reported that the former official tried to leave Ukraine Thursday afternoon. After being told he would not be allowed across the border, he reportedly drove to a restaurant on the Boryspil highway where he was detained by operatives of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
He also added that the detention "was agreed upon by leadership of the Prosecutor General's Office."
UPDATE: NABU has confirmed the detention, stating that Hladkovsky is being suspected of the abuse of power. The Bureau provided no further comment citing secrecy of the investgation.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on February 25, investigative journalists with the Nashi Hroshi with Denys Bihus project unveiled the first part of their probe claiming that the son of Oleh Hladkovsky, then-First Deputy Secretary of the NSDC, was allegedly involved in large-scale embezzlement scheme in defense industry.
The investigation alleged that Hladkovsky Jr. and his partners conspired with government officials to buy parts for military equipment and weapons from Russian smugglers, as well as from warehouses of the Ukrainian army. The prices of spare parts, which often failed to meet quality standards, were overestimated. In collusion with the management of Ukroboronprom, Ukraine's defense giant, products were sold to defense plants, the investigation said. Thus, the group allegedly received from Ukroboronprom at least UAH 250 million. Journalists said Hladkovsky was part of the then-president Petro Poroshenko's entourage.
On March 4, Poroshenko signed a decree dismissing Hladkovsky from the NSDC post.
The Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor's Office opened criminal proceedings to verify millions-worth dealings in the defense sector, revealed by journalists.
On March 4, journalists unveiled a second part of their investigation into the purchase of components at inflated prices for Ukroboronprom enterprises, according to which UOP chief Pavlo Bukin and Hladkovsky allegedly received kickbacks for the supply of altimeters used in repairs of a Kazakh An-26.
On March 11, journalists published another part of the probe, according to which NABU in December 2016 had considered the contracts of Optimumspetsdetal with the Kharkiv Armored Plant to be suspicious and included the company in the list of fictitious firms, but later reversed the move. According to journalists, NABU allegedly took a bribe for such a decision.
On March 12, the State Bureau of Investigation opened proceedings on possible abuses by officials of the Prosecutor General's Office, SBU, fiscal service, and NABU in the investigation of defense fraud.
July 5 came the report that Hladkovsky took helm of Bogdan Corporation.
On July 19, Bogdan Corporation announced that Hladkovsky was out of Ukraine and therefore would not be able to report for questioning at NABU.