January 22, 2024, 13:48

Mazepa case: State Bureau of Investigation reveals scam details, suspects, and investigation progress

Since January 2022, the State Bureau of Investigation has been investigating the illegal acquisition of land critical for the infrastructure of the Kyiv Hydropower Plant. Since 2022, the Bureau’s investigators have found evidence of local government workers, officials of the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (StateGeoCadastre) in Kyiv region, well-known businessmen, and real estate developers being involved in this embezzlement.

Oleksii Sukhachov, Director of the State Bureau of Investigation, made this statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform.

“In fact, the State Bureau of Investigation has been investigating this case since January 2022. We were handed over the investigation into the illegal acquisition of land and hydrotechnical structures in Kyiv region, which had been investigated by various pre-trial investigation agencies since 2014. Officials of the StateGeoCadastre and other officials under the Bureau’s investigation are also involved in the scam. That is why our law enforcement agency is the one investigating this case,” he explained.

Oleksii Sukhachov noted that the construction project, which has been carried out for the past 10 years on the land of Vyshhorod district near the capital, is illegal. The construction poses a potential risk of a man-made disaster, which could affect not only local residents, but also Kyivans.

Despite this, the State Bureau of Investigation Director said that as of now the law enforcers have documented the illegal construction and privatization of more than 7 hectares. He emphasized that the work does not stop for a minute and at the very moment certain measures are being taken to substantiate the involvement of the above-mentioned persons in illegal acquisition of 300 hectares of land with an estimated value of UAH 1.1 billion.

“At this time, 12 people involved in the scam have been identified, but this is far from the entire list. There are three well-known businessmen among those who have already been served with notices of suspicion. They divided the territory among themselves, made arrangements with everyone who made necessary decisions for them, and began to implement their scam,” he said.

In addition, Oleksii Sukhachov elaborated on the illegal construction scam.

“The scheme went as follows: the officials allocated the land of the Kyiv Hydropower Plant to fictitious persons, allegedly for farming. These people had been sought out by the businessmen’s henchmen and paid UAH 1,000. Then the businessmen’s companies acquired these plots from them for next to nothing. After that the construction of luxury housing began. These properties were sold at prices of USD 500,000 and more. However, only the land plot was sold to the new owner, taxes from the sale of the house were neither calculated nor paid to the state budget. In order to bypass the established procedure for putting residential buildings into operation, certificates were issued to the (the offenders – Ed.), falsely indicating that the houses were built before 1991,” he said.

He noted that on January 19, the court imposed a pre-trial detention for the four individuals involved in this case as well as bail set in the amount significantly smaller than that requested by the investigators.

In November 2023, 8 more notices of suspicion were issued to the StateGeoCadastre employees and officials as a part of the same investigation.

“Other individuals and officials are also implicated in this proceeding, and soon the investigators will identify them and contact the prosecutors with the aim of bringing them to justice for their crimes,” he noted.

According to the Director of the State Bureau of Investigation, members of a criminal organization face up to 12 years in prison and confiscation of property.

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news