An official of “Forests of Ukraine” in Vinnytsia was exposed for bribery and theft of wood

Oleksandra Opanasenko

In Vinnytsia, law enforcement officers exposed the director of one of the branches of the Central Forestry Office of the state-owned enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" for theft of wood and systemic bribery. He was suspected of obtaining an illegal benefit.

This is reported by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

The investigation established that the official allegedly systematically demanded bribes from forestry workers for "resolving issues" with the controlling and law enforcement bodies, if violations were found in their work.

The suspect also demanded from workers to artificially reduce the volume of harvested forest products in order to further sell the "excess" products for cash as unaccounted for. According to preliminary estimates, losses from this may reach tens of millions of hryvnias. He did all this on the instructions of the management, as the investigators stated.

It was also possible to document several episodes when the director received an illegal benefit in the total amount of about $11 000. He further distributed the money among officials of the Central Forestry Office. While receiving part of the $4 000 bribe, the official was caught red-handed. He is currently being remanded in custody.

  • On November 24, the general director of the state-owned enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" Yuriy Bolokhovets announced mass layoffs and added that during the year the security service of "Forests of Ukraine" recorded violations, as well as collected information and conducted official investigations.
  • Already on November 25, an official of the Polissia forest enterprise was exposed for illegal enrichment. He turned out to be the deputy of the Rivne Regional Council and at the same time the deputy director of the regional office of the State Enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" Vitaliy Suhovych. During the searches at his home, at work and at the homes of relatives and close friends, they found money in national and foreign currency in the total amount of almost 150 million hryvnias. They also discovered jewelry, gold bars, weapons, three cars: Audi Q8, Mercedes-Benz GLE 350E, BMW X5, 2 pistols, a Kalashnikov assault rifle with 16 magazines with cartridges.