The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) revealed on Tuesday that a lawmaker, a member of the parliament’s anti-corruption committee, is under suspicion of attempting to bribe the head of a government reconstruction agency in what is documented as Ukraine’s first-ever cryptocurrency kickback case. The official, not named by the bureau, allegedly offered the equivalent of $50,000 in bitcoin in exchange for state funds to oversee infrastructure reconstruction.
- Cryptocurrency Kickback Case: The NABU reported that this incident represents the first documented case of an illegal benefit in cryptocurrency within the history of Ukraine’s anti-corruption institutions.
- Bribery Allegations: The lawmaker allegedly offered the cryptocurrency kickback to facilitate the allocation of state funds for infrastructure projects under their control. The head of Ukraine’s State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development reported the bribe to authorities after receiving the initial $10,000 tranche.
- Official Notice of Suspicion: While the bureau did not disclose the name of the lawmaker, they confirmed that the official had been served with an official notice of suspicion by prosecutors.
- Context of Anti-Corruption Efforts: Ukraine has intensified its efforts to combat corruption, particularly as it seeks European Union membership. The EU has made the fight against graft a pivotal condition for initiating negotiations.
- Cyber Security Officials Suspected: On the same day, investigators also announced suspicions against two high-ranking cybersecurity officials for embezzlement, further highlighting anti-corruption measures in strategic sectors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
This case is significant as it marks the first documented instance of an illegal benefit in cryptocurrency within Ukraine’s anti-corruption institutions, reflecting evolving challenges in combating corruption.
The lawmaker is suspected of offering the cryptocurrency kickback to secure state funds for infrastructure projects under their control.
Ukraine’s intensified efforts against corruption align with EU membership aspirations, as the EU considers anti-corruption measures a crucial precondition for negotiations.
The NABU chief emphasized a prioritization of fighting wartime crimes in strategic sectors like defense and reconstruction, aligning with broader national security concerns.
The state reconstruction agency affirmed a zero-tolerance policy for graft, highlighting that cooperation with law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies is a systemic and ongoing commitment.
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