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Law enforcers return goods to international tobacco company worth UAH 7 mn

25.03.2019

Subject of complaint: Volovets Police Department in Zakarpattia Oblast (Volovets National Police) 

Complaint in brief: An international tobacco company turned to the Council with a complaint about actions of Volovets National Police. According to the Complainant, law enforcers groundlessly arrested tobacco products for the amount of UAH 7 mn. 

On January 30, 2019, Volovets National Police officers stopped the truck transporting company’s goods. Law enforcers allegedly questioned the authenticity of the accompanying documents. However, they refused to explain what exactly caused suspicions. Instead, they seized everything: documents, goods and the vehicle. 

The next day criminal proceedings against the Complainant, were launched. The court attached the seized property and documents. 

The Complainant, disagreeing with law enforcers’ actions and fearing preservation of property, turned to the Business Ombudsman Council for help. 

Actions taken: The Coucil promptly started the investigation, The Council’s investigator orally communicated circumstances of the complaint on the day of its receipt to the leadership of the National Police in Zakarpattia Oblast, while the Deputy Business Ombudsman – the leadership of the Chief Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine during the Expert Group meeting between the Council and the National Police. In particular, the Council asked to ensure safety of the cargo. 
 
In addition, the Council addressed the National Police in Zakarpattia Oblast in writing regarding circumstances of the complaint At the request of the Council, law enforcers promptly examined excise stamps and made sure that the goods were genuine. 
 
Result achieved: Law enforcers accepted the Council's arguments The court cancelled the arrest of the vehicle, cargo and documents, while Volovets National Police closed criminal proceedings against the company. The case was closed successfully.