The Kyiv Food Case: Colonel of the Logistics Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Kozlovskyi's Embezzlement Scheme. A Criminal Scam on Ministry of Defense Food Supplies by a Logistics Group

Photos from open sources
Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Published: February 04 2024 at 06:20 pm

The details of another embezzlement case regarding food supplies for the Ministry of Defense have surfaced. According to criminal proceedings №62023000000000333 from April 24, 2023, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Prosecutor's Office consider Colonel Oleksandr Kozlovskyi, head of the Central Administration of Food Supply of the Logistics Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as the scheme's orchestrator. This information was disclosed on the "Prozorro.Sales" website (the connection of the privatization auction with the Ministry of Defense criminal case is discussed below).

The pre-trial investigation found that around early 2022, Kozlovskyi and his subordinate, the head of the supply department, along with other "unidentified military personnel during the investigation," formed a criminal group. The group included individual entrepreneurs FOP Hladiuk I.I. and FOP Hladiuk L.B., who are Kozlovskyi's in-laws, as well as officials from the companies "Armiset," "Rektan," "Arkhimagir," "Military Service-Volunteer" (a monopolist in food contracts for the Ministry of Defense in 2017-2019), "Resource-Service KM," and "Eco Trade Ukraine" (founded by Kozlovskyi's wife Oksana in 2022, later transferred to Tetiana Bubenok).

Per the prior agreement, the Ukrainian Armed Forces representatives ensured no claims from the Ministry if the businessmen failed to deliver products on time and prevented notifying law enforcement upon receiving complaints about poor-quality products from military units.

In return, the officials of the aforementioned companies created the illusion of supplying food kits to the military – they received money for supposedly completed services, but some food products were never delivered.

During the invasion, from March 16, 2022, to June 13, 2023, the companies "Armiset," "Rektan," "Arkhimagir," "Military Service-Volunteer," and "Resource-Service KM" received money from the Ministry of Defense and subsequently transferred it to Kozlovskyi's wife's company "Eco Trade Ukraine" (113 million UAH), his father-in-law (56 million UAH), and mother-in-law (2 million UAH). In total, a transfer of 172 million UAH was established. Subsequently, this money was either withdrawn from accounts or ATMs in Khmelnytskyi. Notably, 14 million UAH was personally withdrawn by Kozlovskyi's wife.

In 2023, Kozlovskyi allegedly purchased a Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid for 1.41 million UAH, registered to his daughter, a student at the Shevchenko National University Military Institute. Throughout her entire employment history, she earned a total income of 378 thousand UAH, indicating she did not have her own funds for the car.

In March 2023, Kozlovskyi likely bought an apartment in Kyiv on Kompozytora Meitus Street, 4a, with an area of 158 square meters for 5.85 million UAH (estimated value of 8.34 million UAH), in which he currently resides. The apartment is being furnished with money from his father-in-law Hladiuk's bank card. However, investigators note that "to mask the source of the funds," the apartment was registered to one Viacheslav Chervinskyi, who serves in the logistics forces in Vinnytsia region. According to investigation data, Chervinskyi officially earned only 1.95 million UAH from 1999 to 2023.

Additionally, in the summer of 2023, Kozlovskyi likely purchased 47 land plots in Kyiv, Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, and Poltava regions. Their total value amounts to 7.71 million UAH, with ownership rights registered to his mother-in-law and father-in-law.

The investigation noted that Tetiana Bubenok, currently listed as the owner of Kozlovskyi's former company "Eco Trade Ukraine," also "accompanies and effectively manages" not only this company but also the individual entrepreneurs of his in-laws.

Moreover, she handles the affairs of LLC "Tandem Trading," whose phone number is Bubenok's personal number. The director of this company, Kondratiuk, is a friend of Kozlovskyi and receives a salary from his main job at the 55th Directorate of the Chief of Works of the Ministry of Defense.

Over the last two years, "Tandem Trading" received 14 million UAH from "Eco Trade Ukraine" and Kozlovskyi's father-in-law. However, in November 2023, the company participated in the privatization of the only property complex of the Khmelnytskyi State Experimental Prosthetic and Orthopedic Enterprise. The enterprise owns a building with a primary, complex prosthetic rehabilitation ward over 2500 square meters, an auxiliary building with a rehabilitation department, and six vehicles.

As reported by the local publication "," "Tandem Trading" won the State Property Fund auction with a bid of 32 million UAH. However, by the decision of the Pechersk District Court dated November 27, the property of the prosthetic plant in Khmelnytskyi was seized due to the aforementioned criminal case, and the results of the privatization auction were annulled.

Additionally, the court registry contains a decision on the seizure of accounts of "Eco Trade Ukraine," "Tandem Trading," the individual entrepreneurs of Kozlovskyi's in-laws, as well as the aforementioned land plots, apartment, and Toyota Corolla.

These are the first details of this case in open sources. In September, "Ukrainska Pravda" reported, citing a source in the police, that the SBU and National Police conducted searches at Kozlovskyi's place. The amount of money seized and whether the official was detained was not disclosed (photo on the left from that search).

In November, one of the Telegram channels reported that the State Bureau of Investigation made progress in Kozlovskyi's case: "Through three controlled LLCs and in-laws registered as individual entrepreneurs, Kozlovskyi conducted almost 300 million UAH in fictitious operations. The military never saw the food, as the supply remained only on paper."

On the same day, the State Bureau of Investigation reported on the exposure without surnames:

"Military personnel and employees of a military unit conspired with private entrepreneurs and sold part of the food intended for soldiers in stores, restaurants, and markets. They took at least 30% of the food from the warehouse, reducing the daily food supply norms for soldiers accordingly.

"The remainder" of the food was used in another scheme. A representative of the military unit, in conspiracy with a private company, issued "empty" invoices for the supply of products worth millions of UAH, which were not actually delivered. The documents accounted for products that were not issued to soldiers before their sale.

By falsifying financial documents, the swindler misled the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and made full payment for the food products. Meanwhile, the criminals appropriated the cash.

Currently, evidence has been obtained regarding the embezzlement of at least 5 million UAH.

The military unit officials and one of the businessmen were notified of suspicion under the articles of embezzlement of property through abuse of office and embezzlement of military property through fraud or abuse of office (part 5 of article 27, part 5 of article 191, part 4 of article 410 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanctions of the articles provide for imprisonment for up to 15 years with confiscation of property. During sanctioned searches, significant amounts of cash were seized from the defendants.

The procedural management is carried out by the Specialized Prosecutor's Office in the sphere of defense of the Central Region."

The Case of "Active Company" and the Glynyana Group Meanwhile, the owner of another group of companies supplying food to the Ministry of Defense, Tetiana Glynyana, purchased several hotels in Croatia. Her "Bila Tserkva" group includes LLC "Premium Company," LLC "Visit," LLC "Ukrprodakord VR," and LLC "Grand Consult" (contracts worth 8.16 billion UAH in 2020-2023).

LLC "Active Company," which received the most expensive Ministry of Defense contract worth 13.16 billion UAH at the end of 2022, including eggs at 17 UAH and potatoes at 22 UAH, is registered to Oleksandr Dmytrievych from Bila Tserkva. He is a business partner of Glynyana's grandson Nazarii Bereziuk. Nazarii currently owns LLC "Meat Mix" (Uzin, Bila Tserkva district, canning production), previously beneficiary of which was Glynyana herself.

The court registry contains data on the State Bureau of Investigation criminal case №62022000000000777 from September 27, 2022. The Pechersk court extended the investigation deadlines for the case until February 2024, involving several military personnel (their names are concealed in the registry).

The case concerns the head of logistics - the deputy commander of one of the military units, who, along with other military personnel, embezzled 4.6 million UAH from the Ministry of Defense. The officers entered false data into documents about the quantity of food supplied by the companies "Active Company" and "Ok Land Food," issuing invoices for non-existent products. One of the military personnel was charged with "accounting support" for LLC "Ok Land Food" and LLC "Active Company."

This case does not mention higher command or imply the involvement of anyone from Glynyana's group in criminal activity.

Yuriy Nikolov, ""

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