KIEV Aug 1 The Ukrainian prosecutor's office
has detained a deputy head of the central bank on suspicion of
involvement in the theft of more than $170 million in state
Borys Prykhodko was appointed to his position during the
presidency of Viktor Yanukovich, whose rule was marred by
accusations of widespread corruption. He is the most senior
official detained since Yanukovich's overthrow in February.
"Prykhodko has been remanded in custody", First Deputy
Prosecutor General Mykola Herasimyuk told a news conference.
Prykhodko's representatives could not be reached for
comment. The National Bank of Ukraine said it had received no
official word from prosecutors about Prykhodko and that it had
asked for an explanation.
Herasimyuk said Prykhodko was suspected of taking part in a
scheme with several others under which about 2 billion hryvnia
($172 million) was taken from the state agriculture fund,
created to help control domestic prices.
President Petro Poroshenko, elected in May and facing a
rebellion by separatists in east Ukraine, is under pressure to
wipe out corruption, which opinion polls show is one of the
biggest concerns of voters.
Tales of Yanukovich's extravagance and lavish lifestyle were
well known before he was overthrown in February after protests
over his decision to spurn a trade pact with the European Union.
But Ukraine's new, pro-Western leaders have also made
allegations pointing to theft on a vast scale during his rule.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said in February that loans
worth $37 billion had gone missing from state coffers and $70
billion had been sent out of the country during his rule.
Yanukovich has dismissed the allegations.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets, Editing by
Timothy Heritage, Larry King)