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Grain plunderer brought to responsibility

30.10.2020

Complainee: The Main Department of the National Police in Kirovohrad Oblast (MD NP)

Complaint in brief: Two agricultural companies from Kirovohrad region complained to the Business Ombudsman Council about inactivity of law enforcement agencies. According to the complainants, the police ineffectively investigated criminal proceedings initiated for misappropriation of 11,280 tons of corn grain of the complainants for the amount of over UAH 55 mn.

For two years, the companies cooperated with the feed milling plant on a contractual basis. Agricultural companies transferred grain for storage and further processing. However, one day the plant was unable to ship 300 tons of corn at the agricultural company’s request “due to its absence”, as its CEO defiantly replied in a letter.

Apart from the fact that the CEO of the plant was also a deputy of one of the district councils, police investigators found that he managed to misappropriate the grain from other enterprises, including foreign investment ones, for spectacular amounts (UAH 180 mn).
Despite the available evidence the police received as a result of interrogation of witnesses and examinations, they were in no hurry to hand over the suspicion notice to the feed milling plant top management. Having suffered great material damage, agricultural companies turned to the Council for help.

Actions taken: The investigator examined circumstances of the case and found the complaint substantiated. The Council established that the applicants' legitimate interests could indeed be violated by ineffective activities of law enforcers. In a letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the National Police, the Council recommended to ensure a prompt, full and impartial investigation of criminal proceedings and an appropriate decision to be made in the case of agricultural companies.

Result achieved: Law enforcers accepted the Council's recommendations. The Prosecutor General’s Office informed the feed milling plant CEO of suspicion of committing a crime first, and later chose detention as a measure of restraint with the alternative of bail, the amount of which was almost equal to the value of misappropriated grain. “Our staff is sincerely grateful to the Business Ombudsman Council for assistance and expresses its deep respect. We would like to extend our special appreciation to the investigator in charge, who was concerned about the issue and did everything possible (within the law and powers granted to him) for law enforcement agencies to make an objective and lawful decision”, the complainants’ lawyer thanked.