Yury Shchigol, a former head of Ukraine’s Special Communications Service, had crypto assets worth $1.5 million seized, according to a report released by the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine on Thursday.
In an announcement, the NABU agency stated that assets seized included 331 TRX, 1.2 million USDT, and 6.9 BTC that belonged to Shchigol. The former public servant is being investigated for allegedly stealing approximately $1.8 million in government funds.
The NABU claims that Shchigol and his deputy, Victor Zhor, were responsible for a criminal scheme in which two companies’ software and services were overpaid for purchases made by the Special Communications Service, which facilitates communication between government agencies. The purchases were made behind closed doors to prevent an open bidding process.
The unnamed firms plotted together the government organization ultimately paid 285 million hryvnias ($7.8 million) with Shchigol and Zhor. The goods and services were actually purchased for only 223 million hryvnias ($6.1 million) from another provider overseas. As per NABU, Shchigol and Zhor kept the difference for themselves.
Wednesday saw Zhor’s arrest, according to the Ukrainian news agency RBC.
Public officials from Ukraine are well-known for using cryptocurrencies. Several civil servants claimed to have 46,351 bitcoin in 2021, when it was valued at $2.7 billion. The 19-year-old local politician and son of two members of the national parliament claimed to be in possession of $24.6 million in cryptocurrency.