SBU probes ex-head of land agency for alleged illegal appropriation of wood near Zhytomyr
Photo: SBU

The Security Service of Ukraine suspects the former head of the main department of the State Geocadastre of one of the regions of central Ukraine of misappropriating 2,000 hectares of forest in Zhytomyr Oblast. He and six other persons were charged under Part 3 of Art. 27 and Part 4 of Art. 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (fraud committed on a particularly large scale by an organized group), reports the SBU. They face up to 12 years in prison with confiscation of property.

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"He illegally removed almost 2,000 hectares of land for a total amount of over UAH 70 million ($1.9 million) from communal property. This actually makes up a third of the land of the Barashi Territorial Community," the report said.

According to the investigation, the ex-officer allegedly involved four state registrars and land managers, the head of a local agricultural enterprise and his former driver in the scheme.

The Security Service of Ukraine claims that the participants of the scheme were re-registrating forest lands under the control of commercial structures of the private agricultural sector — entering information into state databases and property registers.

"At the initiative of the Security Service of Ukraine, the assets of the agricultural enterprise that appears in the scheme have been seized. Petitions are being prepared to seize the property of other participants in the crime," the message statesю