The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has blocked the financing of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) terrorist organisation due to the large-scale, illegal supply of pharmaceutical products to the temporarily occupied territories.

The Service’s officers and investigators documented that the supplies were ordered by “officials” and related businesspersons from the so-called “DPR.. The organisers registered shell companies in Ukraine and several neighbouring countries. Fake foreign trade contracts were concluded between the companies, according to which pharmaceutical products were allegedly sent to third countries in transit through Russia. However, pharmaceutical products were transported from the territory of the Russian Federation to the Donetsk merchants through border crossing points temporarily uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government. According to preliminary data, the defendants delivered medicines worth almost UAH 40 million in 2020.

The SBU officers found that, after receiving the products, the dealers participated in and won the tenders announced by the so-called “Ministry of Health of the DPR.” The Security Service of Ukraine established the facts of payment of “taxes and fees” to the budget of the terrorist organisation.

The law enforcers detained a truck carrying pharmaceutical products worth almost UAH 3 million at the Senkivka border crossing point in the Chernihiv region. During the searches at shell firms in Kharkiv and Mykolaiv, computer equipment, documents and seals confirming illegal activity were seized.

The issue of serving persons involved in a crime with the notice of charges under Part 3 of Article 258-5 (financing of terrorism on an especially large scale) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine is pending. The article provides, as sanction, imprisonment from 10 to 12 years.

Natalia Tolub

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