Interior ministry officers provide cover to gambling, drugs trade, prostitution and extraction of amber, Rada lawmaker and former investigating reporter Serhi Leshchenko said, speaking in ‘The Other Ukraine’ talk show on ZIK TV late May 10.
Several years ago, Leshchenko said, he had a camera installed in the office of interior minister’s first deputy Serhi Chebotar that taped a conversation between Chebotar and interior minister Avakov’s son (a businessman) on supplying inferior quality backpacks for the police.
The meeting was attended by a lawmaker, a cash cow for the former interior minister, who had funneled $40 mn to Panama, he said.
The videotape created big ripples in Ukraine. However, no official resigned or went to prison. The old scheme continues to work now, starting from amber digging in Volyn and gambling machines in Kyiv, Leshchenko said.
Ex-police chief Hatia Dekanoidze, he reminded, compared the interior ministry to a mafia clan whose only aim is to enrich top police officials.
Leshchenko was speaking in ‘The Other Ukraine’ talk-show launched May 5 by ZIK TV. Its anchor is the former Georgian president and reformer Mikheil Saakashvili.