The head of Ukraine's State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection and one of his deputies were charged with embezzling over Hr 62 million ($1.7 million) of state funds, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau reported on Nov. 20.
The State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection is Ukraine's primary agency responsible for the national cyber security system and a part of the country's defense sector.
According to the investigation, the officials cooperated with a businessman to embezzle budget funds allocated for purchasing equipment and software in 2020-2022.
The suspects used companies controlled by the businessman in question and classified the procurement "to avoid open bidding and to ensure their victory," the bureau wrote.
A state enterprise subordinate to the Special Communications Service allegedly bought the software from these companies for Hr 285 million ($7.9 million), while their real value was about Hr 223 million ($6.1 million), allowing the suspects to seize the remaining money.
The suspects then transferred the funds to the companies' accounts abroad to legalize and distribute them among the criminal group members, according to the bureau.
The charges were handed to the Special Communications Service chief, his deputy, the businessman and his employee, as well as to the head and an employee of the subordinate state enterprise.
The bureau didn't name the suspects, but earlier the same day, Kyiv dismissed the service's chief Yurii Shchyhol and Viktor Zhora, his deputy in charge of digitalization, according to the government's representative in the parliament.