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24 Jul, 2023 09:36

Millionaire ex-Ukrainian conscription boss arrested

The former Odessa military official allegedly used illicit gains to fund multimillion dollar purchases in Spain
Millionaire ex-Ukrainian conscription boss arrested

A senior Ukrainian military officer formerly responsible for conscription in Odessa Region was arrested in Kiev on Monday, days after being charged with illicit enrichment to the tune of millions of dollars.

Evgeny Borisov had been on the run for two days having been named as a chief suspect in a report. However his attempts to conceal his whereabouts by changing phone numbers, cars, and locations proved futile, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations announced.

Last Wednesday, the head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAPK), Aleksandr Novikov, identified Borisov as an allegedly record-breaking criminal, who had gained some $5.1 million in illicit profits while in office. The officer had been relieved from his position last month but remained in the ranks of the Ukrainian military at the time of the NAPK press briefing.

Borisov lost his job shortly after the Skhemy project, a Ukrainian investigative media outlet, reported that his family owned real estate and luxury cars in Spain. On Saturday, Skhemy published an update of its investigation.

It claimed that the status of the property, worth over $4 million, remained unchanged two months after journalists first identified it. Ownership was in the name of Borisov’s family members, including his mother and wife, but was reportedly not mentioned in the transparency disclosure forms he is obliged to complete as a state official.

Later on Saturday, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office reported it had launched a criminal investigation into alleged improper enrichment by Borisov. He was also accused of crossing the national border under false pretenses in late 2022.

The official spent about a month with his family members in several high-end international locations, including the Seychelles, the report said. Ukraine has strict border controls amid the armed conflict with Russia specifying that military service age men need special permission to go abroad.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has ordered that Borisov be sacked from the military and that the government conducts a sweeping check of conscription centers nationwide.

The activities of those centers have been controversial in Ukraine, which is conducting a rolling mobilization to sustain its war effort. Numerous videos circulating online show men being rounded up, including by force, for enlistment.