I see that fraudsters are selling humanitarian aid! What shall I do? Is it possible to tackle this? — Yes, itʼs possible. Here are advices from volunteers and lawyers

Author:
Dmytro Rayevskyi
Editor:
Yevhen Spirin
Date:
I see that fraudsters are selling humanitarian aid! What shall I do? Is it possible to tackle this? — Yes, itʼs possible. Here are advices from volunteers and lawyers

Kate Ban / «Бабель»

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, a lot of humanitarian goods are moving in Ukraine — food and other aid from Europe and around the world, support for displaced persons, equipment for the civilians and military, which volunteers raise money or. Most of these cargoes reach those who are waiting for them, but sometimes swindlers try to profit from humanitarian and volunteer help. Together with volunteers and lawyers of the Ukrainian Volunteer Service Babel explains what to do if you become aware of the fact of such fraud, and how to prevent it.

Can humanitarian aid be sold at all?

No, it canʼt. The law prohibits the use of humanitarian aid for profit.

Now shops have started to import goods from Europe more often. How do I understand that they are selling the aid?

Humanitarian goods often have appropriate markings or labels indicating that the goods were received as aid. Or they simply do not have the necessary Ukrainian markings that indicate which company or chain of stores purchased it.

I saw that someone sells goods labeled as humanitarian aid. What shall I do?

Take photos or videos. No one can forbid you to take pictures in a public place, such as a store, so you can ignore threats from security guards and other store employees. But remember that your goal is not a scandal, but a fixation of the crime. Take into account the increased social tensions during the war. So just calmly film what is happening.

Does it make sense to call the store administration? They probably already know what they are selling.

Of course it makes sense. You are a consumer, and by law you have the right to require a certificate of quality of goods and other documents proving the legality of its sale. If the store managers cannot provide such documents, it only confirms that something is wrong with the goods, and itʼs possible that they did not come to Ukraine for sale.

Should I call the police?

Yes, you need to call 102 and leave a message. In it, state the address of the place where the humanitarian aid is sold, and all other details. It is advisable to leave your name and contact phone number. In addition, you can contact the Security Service of Ukraine — the hotline phone number is 0-800-501-482, e-mail is [email protected].

Donʼt forget that you have the right to ask the police about the results of your reports.

And if law enforcement officers do not react?

Your last weapon is publicity. But not just post on social networks. It is better to turn to journalists, offer to make a story or report. Public pressure can affect both law enforcement bodies and those trying to trade the humanitarian aid.

Translated from Ukrainian by Anton Semyzhenko.

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