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With the Council’s facilitation the law enforcement officers returned property seized during search

14.09.2020

Complainee: State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (SFS), Financial Investigations  Department of the MD SFS in Odesa region (FID)

Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from a gas station network from Odesa region. The company complained about the inactivity of the tax authority. Within pre-trial investigation the police investigators carried out searches at two gas stations of the complainant. As a result of the searches, the tax authority seized fuel and lubricants, cash, documents and equipment of the company. The court arrested the part of the seized property, however obliged the authorised police investigator to return the rest of the property that was not arrested. For about three months the investigation body continued to retain the seized property not fulfilling the court ruling. The gas station network decided to solicit the Council’s help.

Actions taken: Having examined the case file, the investigator of the Council agreed that the complainant’s position was substantiated. In particular, when considering the case, the investigator ascertained that the law enforcement officers had no legal grounds for not returning the property, and thus violated the company's property ownership right. The law gives the owner a full right to demand the return of his property and the court ruling execution by the law enforcement officers. The Council recommended the FID to eliminate procedural violations and return the seized property to the complainant.

Results achieved: Having upheld the Council’s recommendations, the investigation body returned the seized property to the complainant in full extent. The case is successfully closed.