Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yurii Lutsenko said today at a briefing in the Rivne region, Censor.NET reports citing the PGO press service.
A year ago, on April 18, 2016, the Main Military Prosecutor's Office launched proceedings into the establishment and activity of a criminal organization in the territory of the Rivne region aimed to obtain unlawful benefits for unimpeded production of raw amber.
On Feb. 14, 2017, the prosecution completed a pre-trial probe and gave the materials of the case to six suspects and their lawyers for review.
In the course of the probe, law enforcers conducted 183 searches to seize cash, gold jewelry, weapons, amber stones of different size, amber mining equipment, a rough ledger and a money distribution scheme.
"Following the results of the pre-trial probe, 31 people were brought to criminal responsibility, of which 25 persons were convicted by courts, with verdicts having taken effect," Lutsenko said.
The suspects pending trial include many former officials and law enforcement officers.
"Unfortunately, I cannot say this operation has put an end to the amber mafia. Our recent findings suggest that a blow was dealt to the mafia, and an operation to dismantle it is underway," the prosecutor general added.
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