Illegal refinery linked to former MP,  pro-Russian oligarch uncovered in western Ukraine
Photo: SBU

In Zakarpattya Oblast, a large-scale scheme of illegal production and sale of wholesale batches of fuel was exposed, reported the Security Service of Ukraine and the Economic Security Bureau.

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A member of the regional council, who for a long time headed the regional branch of the banned Opposition Platform party, and is associate of former parliamentarian and treason suspect Viktor Medvedchuk, is involved in the scheme.

The law enforcement officers do not name the detained official, but it is probably about Ivan Chubirko, because he was detained by the SBU three weeks ago.

According to the investigation, in order to hide his involvement in illegal business, on the eve of the outbreak of the full-scale war, he transferred the oil refinery to a company controlled by him in Kyiv.

The director of this company, according to the law enforcers, organized the illegal sale of diesel fuel of dubious quality from the controlled oil refinery in the town of Mukachevo.

Oil was purchased from Ukrainian suppliers and processed at its own plant, and finished products were sold at gas stations in Kyiv, Zakarpattya, Lviv, and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts without permits and tax payments.

During the search of the underground refinery, more than 600 tons of fuel, equipment for its production worth almost UAH 150 million ($4.1 million) and forged documents were discovered.

Illegal refinery linked to former MP,  pro-Russian oligarch uncovered in western Ukraine
Illegal refinery linked to former MP,  pro-Russian oligarch uncovered in western Ukraine
Illegal refinery linked to former MP,  pro-Russian oligarch uncovered in western Ukraine

The investigation continues under two articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine:

→ Art. 204 (illegal manufacture of excise goods);
→ Art. 212 (tax evasion in particularly large amounts).

Those involved face up to five years behind bars.

On October 7, 2023, Ukraine's SBU security service announced it had dismantled an extortion ring operating in Zakarpattya Oblast. Through a special operation, authorities apprehended the group's leader – a current member of the regional council formerly associated with the sanctioned Opposition Platform party. The detainee had established himself as a criminal authority within the region.