Complainant’s property illegally retained by customs

Customs issues: Criminal proceedings Odesa region

Subject of complaint: (1) Odesa Customs Office of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (2) Investigation officer of the Investigation Department of the Security Service of Ukraine in Odesa Region
Complaint in Brief: The Complainant challenged the illegal retention of his property (i.e., coal with the total value of over USD 200,000) by the Complainee. The property was retained further to the request of the State Security Service of Ukraine investigating a terrorism financing case. The Complainant claimed multiple breaches of the criminal law procedures by the Complainees in the course of retention of the coal. Complainees also left the Complainant without any official response to his request to approve customs clearance of the cargos.
Actions taken: The BOC addressed Odesa Customs Office requesting to provide explanations what the ground for retention of the Complainant’s property was. The BOC drew attention to the multiple procedural violations committed by both Odesa Customs Office and investigation officer. 
Result achieved: In a month’s term after BOC’s involvement, the retained coal was released and was loaded on ship for export.

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