By Kateryna Choursina
(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine detained 23 former tax-office heads
suspected of corruption that diverted more than $3.5 billion
away from the budget before the 2014 ouster of Viktor Yanukovych
The accused were responsible for large-scale tax-evasion
schemes and are among more than 200 people being held, according
to police and prosecutors. Law enforcement bodies are continuing
searches and plan to detain more suspects, Interior Minister
Arsen Avakov told a government meeting in Kiev, the capital.
“This is the largest anti-corruption operation being
carried out nationally,” Avakov said Wednesday in televised
comments. “Police have discovered losses of about 96 billion
hryvnia ($3.7 billion).”
Criticized by voters and international creditors for
dragging its heels in fighting corruption, Ukraine has made more
arrests since creating an anti-graft police bureau. Tax chief
Roman Nasirov was arrested in February on corruption charges he
denies. A member of ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s party
was detained last month. Disbursements under a $17.5 billion
bailout depend in part on the government creating a special
court to handle graft cases.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Interior Minister Arsen Avakov meets Wednesday with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman (UNIAN/ Vladislav Musienko)
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