BOC admits only reasonable searches
Subject of complaint: The Investigative Department for Financial Investigations of the Large Taxpayers’ Office (LTO) of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (Tax Police)
Complaint in brief: On July 24, 2018, a private entrepreneur from Barabashovo market in Kharkiv addressed the Council. The Complainant reported on the unlawful actions of persons who introduced themselves as Tax Police officers, as a result of which his goods had been blocked.
The day before, a loaded truck arrived to Kharkiv market from Odesa. It contained property of 70 different private entrepreneurs. The Complainant was one of the goods owners. Immediately after the arrival of the truck, it was surrounded by two dozens of people who introduced themselves as the Tax Police officers. According to them, they had to search a cargo within the framework of criminal proceedings. At the same time, the abovementioned persons did not provide any permission to search or conduct urgent investigative actions to cargo owners.
Indignant entrepreneurs quickly gathered a crowd of colleagues at the scene, got mass media representatives involved and called the police. While protecting the goods from those who blocked them trying to search them without permission, the Complainant turned to the Business Ombudsman Council for help.
Actions taken: Immediately on the day of the complaint receipt the Council’s representatives called the LTO and the Tax Police. They found out that the said persons were actually working in the Tax Police and looking for seized property. At the same time, the LTO and the Tax Police assured the Council that their employees at the scene would act exceptionally correctly and in compliance with the requirements of the law.
Result achieved: The Tax Police officers acting already in accordance with the procedure, received the permission from the investigating judge. Only after they searched the products listed in the order. The Complainant’s property was not damaged and once the search was over, it was returned to him. The case was closed successfully.