Millions hidden inside sofa: Ukrainska Pravda receives video of searches at ex-Deputy Defence Minister's house
Ukrainska Pravda has received a video of the August searches of the home of Oleksandr Myroniuk, former Deputy Defence Minister, a person involved in the investigation into fraud in defence procurement. Then, almost a million dollars had been found inside his sofa.
Source: a video handed over to Ukrainska Pravda, sources of Ukrainska Pravda in law enforcement agencies
Details: As Ukrainska Pravda’s sources state, this is a video from Myroniuk's apartment, showing the moment of seizure of funds during the investigation.
In the video, a man, presumably an investigator, takes out bundles of money from a side niche near a sofa or bed and puts them in a huge pile.
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Background: On 31 August, 2022, the Ukrainian media space was stirred by the news of searches on property of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, current Head of the Ministry of Defence's procurement department. The official was suspected of being involved in the body armour case [participants of the fraudulent scheme seized funds of the Ministry of Defence during the purchase of military ammunition worth US$580,000 – ed.]
Back then, Ukrainska Pravda's sources said that a huge amount of money had been seized from the Defence Ministry official, which had allegedly been hidden in a sofa.
At the request of Ukrainska Pravda, the Ministry of Defence admitted that Khmelnytskyi’s house had been searched, but stated that no funds had been seized from him.
Later, Ukrainska Pravda found out that a huge amount of money had been seized during a search of Oleksandr Myroniuk’s home, who was in charge of the procurement department before his dismissal in 2021. This official is also involved in the body armour case.
UAH 17,078,000 [approximately US$464,773], US$400,100, and €100,380 were found in Myroniuk's possession during the searches.
The investigator's decision found the money to be material evidence in the criminal proceedings.
Ukrainska Pravda learned that immediately after the searches, Myroniuk provided the court with a "document" that the money from the sofa was not his. A certified statement made a week after the searches stated that in January 2022, all the seized money was lent to Myroniuk by Eleonora Duminsh, a 86-year-old Kharkiv resident.
The journalists found out that Duminsh is a relative of the founders of Kharkiv-based HADO Holding, which, among other things, manufactures rifles. In addition, since 2016, Eleonora Duminsh has been registered as an individual entrepreneur for wholesale trade, and during registration she provided an email and phone number belonging to HADO.
This holding has a long-standing working relationship with the state-owned specialty exporter Prohres, where Myroniuk had been employed before and after his time at the Defence Ministry.
The court eventually ordered the money to be returned to the official.
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