SBU closes criminal case and returns property to agro-chemical importer TOV Avgust-Ukraine
Subject of complaint: Security Bureau of Ukraine in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast (Kyiv and Oblast SSS)
Complaint in brief: On May 13, 2016, the Complainant, importer and wholesale distributor of agro chemicals TOV Avgust-Ukraine, lodged a complaint to the BOC regarding what it claimed was a groundless criminal case, filed against it by the Kyiv SBU office. The case had been launched under Art. 321 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine: the illegal production and distribution of chemicals and powerful precursors. It resulted in a court ruling to seize over 350 t of agro chemicals for expert assessment. The assessments were conducted in September 2016, but the Kyiv SBU refused to pay for essessment services. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General’s Office turned the criminal case over to the National Police of Ukraine for further investigation.
Action taken: On May 23, the BOC investigator sent requests to the Kyiv and Oblast SBU and Prosecutor General’s Office to verify the legality of the seizure of the Complainant’s chemicals and grounds for this measure. The responses from the Kyiv SBU and Prosecutor’s Office noted that an official investigation into the legality of the actions of the Kyiv and Oblast SBU had been delegated to the Kyiv and Oblast SBU. After some further ineffective correspondence with the Kyiv and Oblast SBU, the BOC investigator raised the Complainant’s case at a meeting with SBU officials in June and during an Expert Group meeting at the office of the National Police in October.
Result achieved: As a result of the BOC investigator’s actions, the Complainant reported in November that the criminal case against the company had been closed and the chemicals were returned.