Poltava region-based agrocompany gets its seized property and documents back

Poltava region

Subject of complaint: State Security Service of Ukraine Office in Poltavska Oblast (Poltavska SSU)
Complaint in brief:  On May 19, 2017, an agricultural enterprise, wholesale agrochemicals supplier, turned to the BOC with a complaint against the actions of Poltavska SSU. 
According to the Complainant, on April 19 and 21, SSU employees conducted raids at enterprise’s warehouses. Security forces seized company’s computer hardware, documents, accounting records and agrochemicals. 
The reason for the search was suspicion that the company was involved in smuggling poisonous substances and transforming them into counterfeit agrochemicals. However, the enterprise disagreed with this prosecution. It claimed that since the start of operations it had not ever entered into any foreign economic contracts and had not bought any goods from non-residents. The complainant stated that he cooperated with business entities exclusively on the territory of Ukraine, within the limits current legislation requirements. Moreover, the Complainant argued that he proved this during the SSU’s searches, but security officials still seized property and documents.
The complainant himself turned to the SSU, the Prosecutor’s Office and the district Court in Poltava. The latter decided in his favor and obliged the SSU to return seized property. However, Poltavska SSU delayed the execution of the court decision. Meanwhile, the Complainant suffered losses due to unfulfilled contract agreements. His business activity was completely blocked.
Action taken: After examining case materials, the BOC Investigator sent an official letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO) asking to check the lawfulness of the inspectors’ actions during the searches and return documents and property withdrawn during the search to the Complainant. Additionally, the Investigator brought the Complainant’s case to the expert group meeting with the PGO and the SSU.
Result achieved: On July 27, the First Deputy Prosecutor General informed the BOC that documents, computer hardware and most agrochemicals had been returned to the Complainant. The Company also confirmed this information. The case was successfully closed.

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