“Econia” in focus of the BOC
Complainee: Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine (MID NPU)
Complaint in brief: For the second time, "Econia", the company-producer of drinking water and baby food from Cherkasy region, approached the Business Ombudsman Council. Back in 2018, the company faced a raidership attack, but with the BOC assistance, the illegal attack was fought back. However, the pressure on the company continued. Law enforcement officers conducted an investigation concerning a possible illegal acquisition of the furniture factory of a bankrupt company in the town of Zolotonosha. Thus, as a part of the criminal proceeding the investigators conducted searches involving security divisions in the complainant's office in Kyiv, the house and cars of the company’s owner and her family. In addition, law enforcers sent inquiries to the company's contractors and asked for documents confirming the relationship with the complainant. The company turned to the BOC asking to help protect its rights.
Actions taken: After examining the case file, the Council’s investigator found the complaint substantiated. The investigator noted that the circumstances of the complaint signify a violation of the legal rights of the enterprise. There were court decisions confirming that the complainant had not broken the law when he bought the factory. The ownership of the property complex according to the complainant was additionally confirmed by the Ministry of Justice as a result of the circumstances’ inspection held by a special commission in 2018.
During the investigation, the Council, in particular, detected that the searches were conducted by law enforcers with violations of the Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine. Thus, law enforcers illegally seized documents and computers of the company. Investigators did not return the seized property, despite the rulings of the investigating judges.
In order to find a solution in this complex case, the BOC raised a complaint for discussion at the expert group meeting with the Prosecutor General’s Office. The Council requested the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation to verify whether the police were operating properly and to return the temporarily seized property to the complainant.
Result achieved: Following the interference of the Business Ombudsman Council, law enforcers closed the criminal proceeding concerning the company and returned the property seized during the searches to the complainant.