KIEV, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Ukrainian anti-corruption investigators have detained a deputy defence minister and the defence ministry’s head of procurement for alleged embezzlement of 150 million hryvnias ($5.7 million), prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The officials, who have not yet been formally named, are suspected of profiting off fuel contracts by allowing the defence ministry to be over-charged in deals carried out in 2016, the special anti-corruption prosecutor (SAP) said in a post on Facebook.
“The customer and the supplier agreed a number of additional agreements according to which the price per unit of goods was groundlessly raised by an average of 16 percent,” it said.
In a statement, the defence ministry confirmed there was an investigation against one if its deputy ministers, but did not give further details.
The case is being investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) under the guidance of the SAP.
NABU was established in 2014 as part of Ukraine’s reform drive under which it promised to root out graft and modernise the economy in exchange for billions of dollars in international funding.
Ukraine’s backers have seen a failure to bring corrupt lawmakers and senior officials to justice as an indication the authorities may lack the commitment to eliminate the power of vested interests. ($1 = 26.5100 hryvnias) (Reporting by Olena Vasina; writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Peter Graff)