Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Bureau said on Thursday that crypto assets worth $1.5 million had been seized from Yury Shchigol, a former chief of Ukraine's Special Communications Service.
The agency, known as NABU, said the asset seizure included 6.9 BTC, 1.2 million USDT, and 331 TRX that belonged to Shchigol, according to an announcement. The former public official has been under investigation for allegedly misappropriating government funds worth about $1.8 million.
According to the NABU, Shchigol and his deputy, Victor Zhor, were behind a criminal scheme in which the Special Communications Service, which provides communication between government bodies, purchased software and services from two firms and overpaid them. The purchases were made secretly in order to avoid an open auction.
The firms, which were not named, conspired with Shchigol and Zhor, and the government agency ended up paying 285 million hryvnias ($7.8 million). The purchased goods and services were actually bought from another provider abroad and cost only 223 million hryvnias ($6.1 million). Shchigol and Zhor pocketed the difference, NABU said.
Zhor was arrested on Wednesday, Ukrainian news agency RBC reported.
Ukrainian public officials have been known for their use for crypto. In 2021, various civil servants reported owning 46,351 bitcoin that was worth $2.7 billion at the time. The 19-year old son of two national parliament members, and a local politician himself, reported owning $24.6 million worth of monero.
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