A large number of Donbas residents posing as refugees, are paid out social benefits by Ukraine, continuing to live in breakaway republics, Minister for Social Policy Mykola Rozenko says.
“SBU regularly detains couriers at the touchline with the rebel-held territories with large numbers of payment cards and cash. Since the start of 2016, about UAH35 billion ($1.4 billion) has been seized from the couriers,” the minister says.
Under the law, only those who leave the rebel-occupied territories and register with Ukraine authorities are eligible to get social payments.
In many cases, corrupt Ukrainian officials pay out benefits to non-existent refugees.
The SBU and his ministry are working on how to expose such officials, M. Rozenko says.