The National Anti-Corruption Bureau has published detailed materials in the case of suspicion against the head of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection, Yuriy Shchyhol, and his deputy, Viktor Zhora, who are suspected of embezzling UAH 62 million.
The video shows correspondence regarding the appointment of the "right" person. In 2020, the owner of a group of companies that had been winning tenders for the Pension Fund, the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Social Policy and others for a total of over UAH 1.63 billion for seven years decided to establish control over procurement in the structures of the State Special Communications Service.
According to the investigation, thanks to his connections in government agencies, the businessman managed to appoint a loyal person to the position of Deputy Head of the State Service for Special Communications. It is likely that the deputy who received the suspicion is Zhora. He was appointed on 15 January 2021.
This was necessary to launch a criminal scheme to control procurement, which operated in 2020-2022.
The NABU cited excerpts of conversations between the organiser of the scheme and the controlled candidate for the position of deputy. The State Special Communications Service is called a "collective farm" in the conversation. The head of the service, Shchyhol, is called a "bird".
After Zhora's appointment as deputy, the organiser of the scheme began to give him more specific "tasks". In particular, he advised him to purchase source materials for software under the "secret" classification, and then to develop software through a state-owned enterprise with subcontracting to entrepreneurs.
In 2021, the government identified the need to create an information system, which was entrusted to an enterprise subordinate to the State Service for Special Communications. To obtain the funds for the project, the scheme organiser and Zhora involved the head of the State Special Communications Service, the head of the company, and his subordinate. To avoid open bidding and ensure that the right companies won the contract, the tender was held in secret.
After the tender was made secret, companies controlled by the organiser of the scheme were selected to supply the software.
The head of the State Service for Special Communications asked his deputy, Zhora, to make a brief reference to the company that would implement the project. Zhora asked the scheme's organiser, who said that there was nothing to write in the reference because it was a "layer" that was only a few years old.
The scheme organiser then sent Zhora three certificates about the controlled companies: LLC 1, LLC 2 and LLC 3. Zhora pointed out that LLC 2 could not participate because he was its founder and director before he was appointed to the position at the State Special Communications Service. He sent the information to Shchyhol.
In this way, the scheme participants determined the winner - a controlled company - six months before the software purchase. The SOE eventually signed a contract with this company for UAH 124.9 million (118.7 million for software, 6.1 million for related services) with a 30% advance payment.
The controlled company then entered into an agreement with the developer. The cost of the software was UAH 95.1 million, and the total cost with related services should not exceed UAH 99 million. Thus, the scheme participants would have received at least UAH 23 million from the resale of the software alone.
On 25 October, part of the advance was transferred to the developer, and the balance of more than UAH 5.7 million was transferred to a company in Hungary.
After that, the head of the State Service for Special Communications asked his deputy if the organiser of the scheme was ready to pay for the "first part of the platform". Zhora replied that "everything would be closed" after the head of the State Special Communications Service returned.
On 3 December 2021, the SOE paid the remaining UAH 89.3 million for software and services. Part of the money was transferred to the developer, and UAH 18 million was transferred to a company in Hungary.
The head of the State Service of Special Communications arranged for the transfer of part of the money seized by the scheme's participants from the organiser of the scheme through his deputy and other unidentified persons.
“The code word was 'locomotive'," Shchyhol wrote.
Zhora responded by sending amounts of money. Shchyhol asked if it was in euros, and received confirmation.
Thus, in 2021, the scheme participants organised and carried out a software purchase that resulted in the acquisition of 23.6 million euros.
In 2022, after the start of martial law, the members of the organised group continued their criminal activities. Through another controlled company, they implemented an almost identical scheme to exploit an information system.
The management of the State Special Communications Service still had data on the real cost of the software, participated in meetings with the developers and agreed on the amount of markups and illegal profits.
The deputy head of the State Special Communications Service sent a spreadsheet with calculations to his boss.
Shchyhol was discussing with an unidentified person the exchange of a package of money in foreign currency. According to the head of the State Special Communications Service, one of the packages weighed 22 kilograms.
"They brought me 6.4, which is 22 kilograms. I can give it to you in hryvnya so that the handles wouldn’t rip off," he wrote. The NABU and the SAPO notified the head of the State Service for Special Communications, his deputy, the former head and employees of the state enterprise, and employees of companies controlled by the organiser of the scheme of suspicion of misappropriation of more than UAH 62 million.