NABU says sting operation fails after interference
The Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine (PGO) and the SBU Security Service of Ukraine have illegally interfered with an undercover special operation of the National Anti-corruption Bureau (NABU) aimed at identifying members of an organized criminal group in the State Migration Service of Ukraine.
"On November 29, 2017, during documenting one of the episodes with the participation of the First Deputy Head of the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU), the SBU officers under the procedural guidance of the prosecutors of the PGO illegally detained an undercover agent of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine. According to the NABU's information, the undercover agent is accused of a provocation of bribery," NABU said in a statement.
The Bureau considers the above-mentioned actions to be a planned sabotage against the employees of the NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine and sanctioned by the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The SBU officials using information that they had obtained officially (on a wiretapping warrant within the NABU investigation) allegedly disclosed the data to one of the targets of NABU's undercover operation and also recruited this person for further illegal pressure and persecution of NABU operatives.
The NABU and the SAPO repeatedly warned about the risks for undercover operations due to the fact that the NABU has no authority for autonomous wiretapping and is thus forced to request wiretapping services from the Security Service of Ukraine exclusively.
According to the NABU's information, currently the detention and arrest are planned of another three undercover agents of the NABU, as well as the head of the 2nd Detective Unit, and the executives of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.
In addition, since the evening of November 29, 2017, NABU cannot get in touch with seven of its operatives, who were part of the undercover operation on documenting the episode with the participation of the first deputy head of the SMSU. Their whereabouts are unknown at the moment.
A statement published at the website of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the evening on November 29, 2017, saying that the NABU agent allegedly had been offering bribes in large amounts to the First Deputy of the SMSU Head for several months, is not true, according to NABU.
According to the investigation case file, the SMSU official, herself, had repeatedly demanded a "benefit" in the amount of $30,000. Firstly, her demands were related to a passing positive decision on granting Ukrainian citizenship to a foreigner, and subsequently – to issuing a temporary residence permit, NABU said.
Since the beginning of the undercover operation in April 2017, a number of facts of illegal activities of the current and former staff of the SMSU's main departments and territorial offices have been documented.
"We assure that the NABU detectives have never provoked any of the officials of the SMSU to receive a bribe," the report says.
"In addition, the NABU Director and the Head of the SAPO planned to have a meeting with the Prosecutor General of Ukraine on the morning of November 30, 2017. Currently, we believe that Yuriy Lutsenko was not fully aware of the details of the undercover operation when he was sanctioning the actions by the PGO prosecutors and SBU operatives against the NABU detectives," NABU added.