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 Corrupt assets to be retrieved by special agency in Ukraine

In the near future, Ukraine will see establishment of the National Agency of Ukraine for Investigation and Disposal of Corrupt and Criminal Assets.

As reported by Censor.NET, a bill stipulating for the authority's regulations was presented by representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Anti-Corruption Action Center on Aug. 19.

The agency is established due to poor results by Ukrainian law enforcement and government authorities, failing to meet demands of society. According to the Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center Daria Kaleniuk, an expected amount of retrieved corrupt assets was around half a billion UAH (about $22.6 million), but the budget received only 7,865 UAH over the first six months of 2015.

The agency is intended to become an institutional mechanism for identification, tracing, recovery and further management of corrupt and criminal assets. "The agency will not replace the police, but they will finally stop making excuses for not arresting and retrieving criminal assets," Kaleniuk stressed.

The agency will keep a unified state register of assets arrested under criminal proceedings, which will ensure tangible results of work.

Read more: Court attached property of 145 former prosecutors of Crimea and authorized their detention

The authority will be guaranteed full independence: its head will be appointed through a competition, its officers will receive decent salary, which will reduce corruption risks within the agency, its work will be monitored by experts and society representatives.

75 per cent of arrested assets will be returned to the state budget, while the rest can be used to satisfy the following agency's needs stipulated by law: reimbursement of assets-induced costs, assurance of criminal proceedings (law enforcement bodies in general), including undercover investigation, security of persons reporting corrupt practices.

The need to create such an agency is one of the main criteria of Ukraine's implementation of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization with the EU and the IMF loan requirements.

The agency is to be set up in four to six months.
 
 
 
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