31 Jan 2024 14:13

Ukrainian Railways gets over 68 mln hryvni in compensation for losses due to gas purchase fraud

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) - JSC Ukrainian Railways received more than 68 million hryvni as compensation for the losses it sustained as a result of 206-million-hryvnia fraud during gas acquisition in 2016-2020, Ukrainian media outlets said, citing the company's statement on social media.

"During their joint work with the office of JSC Ukrzaliznytsia's director for economic and information security, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office secured compensation for the joint-stock company's losses in the amount of over 68 million hryvni as part of an investigation into fraud during the purchase of gas for the company's needs," it said.

This money was transferred to Ukrainian Railways from August 2023 to January 2024 by a private company, which "recognized the unacceptability of the criminal actions committed by its own management, and agreed to partially compensate for the damage caused," Ukrainian Railways said, without naming the private company.

A further 2 million hryvni was received from one of the suspects in the case, while another suspect transferred 3 million hryvni for the Ukrainian Armed Forces' needs - moves in line with a plea agreement concluded between them and a prosecutor from the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, Ukrainian Railways said.

Ukrainian Railways said earlier 206-million-hryvnia fraud committed during the acquisition of gas for the company's needs in 2016-2020 was uncovered in June 2023 as a result of joint work with the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. As part of this case, a private company transferred 20 million hryvni to Ukrainian Railways as partial compensation for the losses, pledging to pay a total of 68.16 million hryvni.

Between December 2016 and January 2020, officials of Ukrainian Railways' branch, Production Support Center, acting in collusion with representatives of gas companies, arranged for gas to be bought bypassing tender procedures. They agreed an additional markup for gas supplies, which ranged from 200 hryvni to 1,000 hryvni for 1,000 cubic meters of gas at different periods. The unlawful proceeds received as a result of the fraud were distributed among a wide circle of participants in that criminal conspiracy, which was exposed during an investigation conducted in June-October 2023.

Ukrainian Railways signed a second contract with PJSC Ukrnafta in 2023 to buy 45 million cubic meters of gas from the underground storage facilities at favorable summer prices. Ukrainian Railways purchased 13.7 mcm of gas from Ukrnafta in March-September 2023.

That purchase alone allowed Ukrainian Railways to save 40 million hryvni compared to prices on the Ukrainian energy exchange and 250 million hryvni compared to the previous offers of third-party suppliers.

It was also reported that Ukrainian Railways is fully provided with gas for the fall-winter season of 2023-2024.