As reported by Censor.NET citing Kyiv Post, spokeswoman for Ukraine's prosecutor general Larysa Sarhan said Labutin was leader of a crime ring involved in serious crimes including the murder of the adviser to the Ukrspyrt director on May 30, 2017. The ring members also plotted murder of Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
The Main Military Prosecutor’s Office supervises criminal proceedings into the activities of the criminal organization. On Dec.19, 2017, more than 60 searches were conducted simultaneously in various regions of Ukraine and six active participants of this organized crime group were detained, Sarhan reported on social media Jan. 25.
According to her, all of them were put into custody without a bail option.
“The crime ring head, the former director of Ukrspyrt, was detained on the territory of Romania, where a request for his extradition to Ukraine was sent to bring him to trial,” Sarhan said.
She said the Romanian court dismissed the detainee’s appeal against detention for the duration of the extradition procedure.
“It has been established that the same person is suspected of embezzlement of 261 million hryvnia from the aforementioned state-owned enterprise and the commission of other crimes punished under part 5 of article 191, part 3 of article 212, part 1 of article 345 and part 2 of article 28, part 2 of article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine,” the prosecutor general’s spokesperson said.
As reported, Viktor Pankov received multiple gunshot wounds to the back in Kyiv’s Darnytsky district on the morning of May 30, 2017. The assassin fled the scene in an Audi sedan.
People’s Front parliamentary faction MP Anton Herashchenko said the killer of acting director of the state-owned Ukrspyrt concern Viktor Pankov escaped capture.
He said Pankov’s murder was probably a contract killing, adding that Pankov was involved in a complicated state-run organization that worked in the shadows, instead of for the people of Ukraine.
Pankov was a board member of Nadra Ukrainy national joint-stock company in 2008 and 2009. In 2012, he started working at Ukrspyrt as deputy general director in charge of legal issues, and later as Ukrspyrt acting general director and first deputy director in charge of production and financial issues. He left Ukrspyrt in December 2013.
In early 2014, Pankov was an advisor to the chairman of the board of Chornomornaftohaz. He returned to Ukrspyrt as deputy director in charge of legal issues in March 2014. In December 2014, the Agriculture and Food Ministry sacked Mykhaylo Labutin as Ukrspyrt general director, naming Pankov as acting director.
Pankov was put in charge of Ukrspyrt’s main office in 2016.