State Bureau of Investigation returns car company’s seized property and funds

Prosecutor’s Office actions: procedural abuse Kyiv

A cars importer complained to the Business Ombudsman Council because law enforcement officers did not return the property seized as a result of the search.

It is known that in November 2021, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) conducted a search of the house of the company’s CEO, during which they seized two laptops and USD 265k in cash. In addition, the search was also performed in the company’s office, where the law enforcement officers also seized the company’s equipment. In December 2021, the investigating judge refused to arrest temporarily seized property, and therefore the law enforcement officers had to immediately return it to the complainant. However, they did not do it, and the jurisdiction of the case changed several times. Meanwhile, the company unsuccessfully appealed to pre-trial investigation bodies and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

While investigating the case, during June-October 2023, the Council repeatedly sent letters to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office, the Main Directorate of the National Police in the city of Kyiv, the Chief Investigation Department of the SBI and the Territorial Directorate of the SBI in the city of Kyiv and requested to immediately return temporarily seized property to the complainant as required by the court ruling. The Council emphasized that, according to the ruling conclusions, the seized items did not contain evidence in criminal proceedings, so it was obvious that property retention by law enforcement officers violated the company’s rights. The Council twice submitted a complaint for consideration of the Expert Group with the Prosecutor General’s Office, thanks to which it was finally possible to achieve a result. The SBI returned temporarily seized equipment and USD 265k to the company’s CEO.


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