investigating 50 circumstances of Ukraine support fraud

15 investigating 50 circumstances of Ukraine support fraud

In a single occasion, transport manifests had been mysteriously modified earlier than arms packages reached the nation

The Pentagon’s inspector normal has opened greater than 50 circumstances into the alleged “theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion” of army support to Ukraine, he stated this week. Allegations of graft surfaced virtually instantly after the help started flowing to Kiev, and the inspector normal stated that extra investigations are more likely to comply with.

Talking at a briefing on Thursday, Inspector Basic Robert Storch stated that no allegations have been substantiated but, “although that will effectively change sooner or later,” in response to Bloomberg. Further investigations into the abuse or theft of US gear will likely be opened within the close to future “given the amount and pace” of weapons being despatched to Ukraine, he famous.

One case highlighted by Storch concerned unidentified objects arriving in Poland as a part of a wider weapons cargo, earlier than disappearing from a transport manifest once they had been despatched throughout the border into Ukraine in June. Whereas the case of the disappearing gear was highlighted in a report by Storch’s workplace final yr, the inspector didn’t say on the time whether or not the objects had been misplaced or stolen. As a substitute, his workplace acknowledged that Pentagon personnel “didn’t have required visibility and accountability of all kinds of gear throughout the switch course of.”

None of Storch’s stories so far have recognized any outright criminality. Nevertheless, Thursday’s announcement marks the primary time he has acknowledged that his workplace is probing potential circumstances of “procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion.”

Within the two years since Russia’s army operation in Ukraine started, the US has spent roughly $113 billion on army, financial, and humanitarian support for Kiev. Round $45 billion of that quantity has been spent on weapons, ammo, and different army help for Kiev’s forces.

In the summertime of 2022, a CBS Information report recommended that solely round 30% of the weapons despatched by the West truly made it to the entrance strains in Ukraine. Across the similar time, Russian Protection Minister Sergey Shoigu warned that weapons supposed for Ukraine had been displaying up in Center Jap arms bazaars. 

Storch’s workplace has since deployed greater than two dozen folks to Ukraine to trace US arms shipments. Nevertheless, allegations of corruption have continued to floor, with the graft typically starting earlier than provides even enter the nation. Final month, the Safety Service of Ukraine (SBU) introduced the uncovering of a serious embezzlement ring on the nation’s Protection Ministry. Based on the SBU, 5 suspects tried to steal 1.5 billion hryvnia (round $39.6 million) in state funds supposed for the acquisition of mortar shells. 

Ukrainian Protection Minister Aleksey Reznikov was dismissed from his put up over graft allegations in September. His successor, Rustem Umerov, introduced in January that an audit had revealed $262 million in theft-related prices in weapons procurement.

You may share this story on social media:

Supply hyperlink