31 May 2023 11:55

NABU's May 30 searches at Ukrainian Railways related to possible procurement abuses - CEO

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) - The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) on Tuesday carried out searches at the office of JSC Ukrainian Railways and the homes of some of its employees related to purchases for the industry's needs and received an explanatory note from the company's CEO, Ukrainian media said, citing the Ukrainian Railways press service.

"I emphasize once again that my priority tasks in the position of Ukrzaliznytsia CEO include eradicating corruption schemes. Today, I personally provided NABU with my clarification regarding possible procurement abuses," the press service quoted the company's CEO Yevgeny Lyashchenko as saying.

Law enforcement agencies were given access to the homes and workplaces of Ukrainian Railways employees in line with a court ruling as part of an investigation looking into the operations of the company's production support center, it said.

"Ongoing audits focus on the period when procurement was outside of my area of responsibility," said Lyashshenko, who was appointed Ukrainian Railways CEO on March 23 of this year.

The company is open to inspections and stands ready to contribute to the investigation, he said.

Following Lyashchenko's appointment, Ukrainian Railways stepped up cooperation with law enforcement agencies, the press service said.

"The company is now closely cooperating with NABU, the Security Service of Ukraine, the National Police, the Prosecutor's Office and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. A number of personnel and administrative decisions has already been adopted. They will be announced later," the press service said.

In addition, the company is actively conducting a number of its own internal inquiries. Twenty cases were forwarded to law enforcement agencies in 2023.

Last week, NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office detained a deputy head of Ukrainian Railways' procurement department and carried out searches. This person is suspected of receiving a bribe for facilitating the signing of contracts with "necessary suppliers" for the company's needs. In exchange for his "services", he allegedly received a new Toyota Camry car, which was bought at a car dealership for 1.55 million hryvni.

"Ukrzaliznytsia forwarded information about this official's possible abuses to law enforcement agencies, including NABU, back in April 2023," the press service said.

The Ukrainian government appointed Lyashchenko, a member of the Ukrainian Railways board since 2021, as the company's CEO on March 21, dismissing Alexander Kamyshin from this post.