In a notable development within Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to combat corruption, authorities have recently uncovered what appears to be the country’s first instance of a cryptocurrency-based bribe. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has raised suspicions against a lawmaker, notably a member of the parliament’s anti-corruption committee, for allegedly attempting to use Bitcoin to facilitate a corrupt transaction.
Details of the Cryptocurrency Bribe
This case involves an accusation that the lawmaker offered $50,000 in Bitcoin to secure state funds designated for reconstructing infrastructure. While withholding the official’s name, the NABU disclosed that the suspected individual received a formal notice of suspicion. The head of Ukraine’s State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development significantly reported this bribe attempt to the authorities after a tranche of $10,000 was received.
Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Drive Intensifies
This event underscores Ukraine’s intensified fight against corruption, particularly as the country aspires to European Union membership. The EU has emphasized anti-corruption measures as a crucial criterion for initiating membership discussions. Moreover, the NABU’s chief, Semen Kryvonos, earlier conveyed the agency’s commitment to prioritizing crimes in critical areas like defense and reconstruction, especially during wartime.
The investigation into this unprecedented use of cryptocurrency in a bribery case is part of a broader crackdown. Authorities also recently suspected two high-ranking cybersecurity officials of embezzlement. The state reconstruction agency also reaffirmed its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, pledging ongoing cooperation with law enforcement and anti-corruption bodies.
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