A large-scale scheme for selling wood abroad was exposed in Sumy region shutterstock

A large-scale scheme for selling wood abroad was exposed in Sumy region

Katerina Belousova

The perpetrators received over 80,000 hryvnias for one deal

In Sumy Oblast, the police exposed a criminal group of officials and employees of commercial structures, which established a corrupt scheme for the sale of unaccounted timber, in particular abroad.

Criminals allocated 40,000 hryvnias every month to bribe the management of the controlling bodies to ensure their loyalty, the Department of Strategic Investigations of the National Police of Ukraine reports on Facebook.

It is noted that the group included a lawyer, officials of the forestry communal enterprise of the region, employees of their subsidiaries, as well as commercial structures.

The police established that the management of the agroforestry utility company and the employees of the companies controlled by it established a corrupt scheme for the sale of unaccounted for forest resources. The perpetrators agreed with a number of controlled forest farms to supply large volumes of unaccounted timber to commercial entities.

"Instead, the representatives of district forest farms received an illegal benefit in cash every month, which proportionally corresponded to the profit from the sale of lumber and roundwood by the commercial structure, in particular from export," the press service said.

The report emphasized that in order to hide the illegal origin of the wood, the goods were exported on behalf of other companies. For a fee, partners could confirm the "legal" origin of the wood with fictitious documents. For just one such agreement, the entrepreneur handed over 80,000 hryvnias to the employees of the forest farm.

It is noted that in order to cover up illegal activities, the subsidiaries involved their lawyers.

Investigators and operatives conducted 64 searches at the places of residence, work and cars of the participants in the scheme. They seized financial and economic documentation, draft records, bank cards, mobile phones and money.

The message emphasized that three members of the criminal group were notified of suspicions. The issue of reporting suspicion to other persons involved in the scheme is being resolved.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that eco-activists suspected foresters of illegal felling in the "Yezutsky" reserve, which is included in the protected zone of the "Seymsky" regional landscape park in the Sumy region.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, in Vinnytsia, the former director of the Mogilev-Podilske Forestry State Enterprise was informed of the suspicion of facilitating the cutting down of 7,000 trees on an area of ​​14 hectares.

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