The security service of Ukraine, or SBU, has charged a former deputy minister of defence and former acting director of the ministry’s procurement department with purchasing low-quality military uniforms worth almost UAH 1 billion (USD 27.87 million).
In a statement, SBU did not disclose the names of the suspects, but a law enforcement source told LIGA.net that they are Viacheslav Shapovalov and Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who worked under the former defence minister, Oleksii Reznikov.
Both were dismissed and arrested earlier this year, after the scandal with procurement of food for the Ukrainian military for exorbitant prices.
New charges relate to the purchase of Turkish wind and waterproof jackets and trousers under simplified procedures, that is, without laboratory tests.
The investigation believes that as a result of the suspects’ actions, the Ukrainian army received low-quality uniforms.
“Low-quality property was registered and issued to the troops. This deprived the ministry of defence of the opportunity to take full representative measures against unreliable representatives to compensate for the damage caused in full as a result of such a supply,” the prosecutor general's office said in a separate statement.
Both suspects are currently in custody and charged with embezzlement and obstructing the activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
If proven guilty in court, they could face up to 12 years in prison.