NABU and SAPO continued their fight against internal enemy - corruption

In 2023, detectives and prosecutors maintained their high work pace: in the last six months alone, they exposed and served suspicion notices on 137 persons. Indictments against 147 persons were sent to court. As a result, nearly a thousand persons are now facing trial.

This year was marked by notable exposures. At the beginning of the year, NABU caught the deputy minister for communities, territories and infrastructure development red-handed receiving a bribe of USD 400,000. He had accepted the money for facilitating contracts for the purchase of equipment. Following the appointment of the new Director of NABU on March 6, 2023, NABU detectives, under the procedural guidance of SAPO prosecutors, uncovered a criminal organization within the State Property Fund of Ukraine. Between 2019 and 2021, its members misappropriated over UAH 500 million from the State Enterprise "Odesa Port Plant" and the State Enterprise "United Mining and Chemical Company."

In May 2023, NABU and SAPO exposed a bribery scheme involving the leadership of the Supreme Court.

Overall, in the first half of 2023, NABU and SAPO notified 11 high-ranking state officials of suspicion, exposed corrupt actions by 26 heads of state-owned enterprises, and held 7 judges accountable.

These achievements were accomplished by less than 300 NABU detectives and SAPO prosecutors, some of whom also joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defense. Therefore, there is a pressing need to expand the staff and strengthen the institutional capacity of NABU, including the establishment of its own forensic institution and the implementation of the right to wiretapping.

(as of 31.12.2023)


in the second half of 2023

new investigations
accused persons

Exposed in the second half of 2023:


senior state officials


"A" category civil servants


high-ranking serviceman


heads of state-owned enterprises







Faced trial in the second half of 2023:


senior state officials


"A" category civil servants


heads of state-owned enterprises




deputy of regional councils



Convicted of corruption*
in the second half of 2023:


senior state official


"A" category civil servants


heads of state-owned enterprises









*sentences took effect

Unprecedented UAH 3 billion: economic effect of NABU and SAPO in 2023 second half-year

The economic effect of NABU and SAPO work in the second half of 2023 hit a record high, surpassing a staggering UAH 3 billion, totaling UAH 4.7 billion in 2023. This is the greatest figure in the history of anti-corruption agencies, more than three times as big as the NABU annual budget.

Thanks to NABU and SAPO, from July to December 2023, UAH 430.1 million became available for boosting the country's defense capability. These are assets seized/voluntarily forfeited within NABU and SAPO's criminal proceedings, as well as pledges withdrawn by HACC's order. Past year, the total value of assets transferred in favor of the military amounted to UAH 1.1 billion. Overall, more than UAH 2.37 billion has been sent to army needs in 2022-2023.

The second part of 2023 saw an unprecedented compensation for losses in NABU and SAPO cases worth UAH 2.47 billion. In particular, a part of the Samara-Western Direction oil product pipeline worth UAH 1.4 billion was reinstated as a state asset. UAH 818.7 million was returned by private companies to PJSC Ukrnafta, PJSC Zaporizhzhyaoblenergo and PJSC Cherkasyoblenergo (50%+1 share owned by the state). In total, as of year's end, UAH 9.1 billion had been compensated to the state.

In the second half of 2023, several guilty verdicts with asset confiscation took effect. This includes both monetary assets totaling UAH 115 million and various types of property, such as real estate, vehicles, and computer equipment.



UAH 9.156 BLN AS OF 31.12.2023









Exposure of MP trading in border crossing permits

The key character in this case became known after the release of the footage of her throwing a wad of cash over the fence of her estate. However, on that day, the wind was on the side of the National Bureau's detectives, who arrived at the MP's place to conduct investigative actions and managed to retrieve and document the entire amount of the bribe.

As established, the MP, along with her aide, offered citizens to secure the issuance of a border crossing permit by the regional military administration and input of the relevant data into the Shliakh information system.

With that permit a person could cross the state border as a volunteer for delivering humanitarian aid to the territory of Ukraine.

Detectives and prosecutors identified two episodes of illegal activity of the MP and her aide. The first episode concerned the receipt of USD 6,000, while the second involved USD 5,300. In July of last year, after receiving the final part of the bribe totaling USD 2,800, the individuals were exposed and notified of suspicion. In October, the investigation was completed and sent to court after two months.

Passport scheme

This case showcases successful cooperation within an international investigative group comprising experts from Ukraine, Estonia, and France under the auspices of Eurojust. It exposed a massive scheme of misappropriating funds from the state enterprise «Polygraph Combine «Ukraina» worth over UAH 450 million, active in 2013-2016.

In 2013, the then combine's head bought a foreign company through proxies and insisted on foreign partners cooperating through this "convenient" company. Subsequently, the company acted as an intermediary for procuring materials used in the production of official documents such as passports, ID cards, and driver's licenses. The intermediary company bought the materials directly from manufacturers and then resold them to the state enterprise at a price inflated by 4–6 times. During 2013-2016, the criminal group embezzled approximately half a billion hryvnias through this scheme.

On July 21, 2023, five individuals were notified of suspicion: the former director and the former head of a department of the state enterprise, a private person involved in the crime. Additionally, documents were sent to Estonia to notify two of its citizens (the director and manager of the controlled company) of suspicion. The investigation is ongoing.

Owner of Finance and Credit Group notified of suspicion

This story started back in 2002, when the owner of the Finance and Credit Group acquired a 40.19% stake in a mining and processing plant from four companies. 18 years later, the former shareholders filed a lawsuit with the commercial court to invalidate the securities purchase agreement and to regain their shares. However, the court rejected their motion. In 2022, the Court of Appeal overturned the first instance decision and invalidated the securities purchase agreement.

To prevent the loss of shares, the suspect turned to a lawyer from one of the Kyiv's law firms, who had connections with the judges of the Supreme Court and could get the 'proper' decision delivered for a certain remuneration. In March-April 2023, the lawyer received USD 2.7 million from the businessman, keeping USD 900,000 for himself and giving the rest to the Head of the Supreme Court.

NABU and SAPO documented the transfer and receipt of USD 1.8 million in two tranches. The Head of the Supreme Court and the lawyer were exposed in May last year and served with charges shortly after. On 3 Aug. 2023, the owner of the Finance and Credit group, sojourning in France at that moment, was notified of suspicion within international legal assistance framework.

MP nabbed accepting cash for land lease facilitation

The MP's desire to "make money" on state land led to logical consequences. It all started with an offer to a farmer to lease land that was under the management of a state-owned enterprise in the Rivne region. The lawmaker estimated his services at USD 130 per hectare.

Consequently, the facilitation of the allocation of 1,700 hectares of arable land was estimated at USD 221,000 in undue advantage that the farmer had to pay to the MP. Of that amount, USD 85,000 was to be an "advance" while the rest had to be provided after the harvest. Fortunately, the farmer made the right choice and filed a report with the National Bureau. During the transfer of the "advance," the lawmaker and his two accomplices were caught red-handed.

Later, they were served with charges, while the High Anti-Corruption Court arrested the MP with an alternative of UAH 30 million bail. In addition, the court seized the property of the MP and his wife. On 1 Dec. 2023, the investigation was completed.

The attempt to profit from a state land scheme appears especially cynical in light of the fact that at the time of the crime, the MP chaired the Temporary Investigative Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the investigation of corruption at state-owned enterprises, institutions, and organizations of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine.

Seizure of land in Kyiv region worth UAH 1.8 billion

Last August, NABU and SAPO exposed yet another land scheme. A lawmaker, having influence over officials of the Main Department of State Geocadastre in the Kyiv region and connections with top officials in various fields, developed a plan to misappropriate agricultural land that was in permanent use by state-owned enterprises. To this end, they used the mechanism of granting free land plots to Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) fighters. The participants found such persons and without their knowledge registered parcels with them. Subsequently, they changed the purpose of the land and sold it to third parties at a price sometimes 10 times lower than the market price.

NABU and SAPO revealed two episodes of the criminal activity - the seizure of almost 920 hectares of state land in the town of Fastiv and about 284 hectares of the Pushcha-Vodytsia SE near Kyiv. At the time of the crime, the total market value of these plots amounted to over UAH 1.8 billion.

On 15 Aug. 2023, five members of the organized group were notified of suspicion. On 7 Sept., the number of suspects grew up to seven people. Thanks to NABU and SAPO, all misappropriated parcels were seized by court. The judge also imposed a ban on their development and change of purpose, allowing these plots to be preserved for the Kyiv region community.

"Pasta" scheme

In August, NABU and SAPO exposed the misappropriation of UAH 62.5 million during Ukrzaliznytsia's (Ukrainian Railways) procurement of food supplies for the population in a state of war. Former and current high-ranking officials turned out to be involved in the crime.

In the first months of the full-scale russian invasion, the first deputy minister of agrarian policy and food implemented two schemes. Both involved the procurement of pasta for humanitarian needs from predetermined foreign producers and through a number of proxy companies, with price markups reaching 150 percent. Moreover, the official was aware of the actual market value of the products and of the readiness of Ukrainian producers to supply them, but deliberately ignored these facts.

The second scheme, apart from the aforementioned top official, involved the then deputy minister of economy. He in particular concealed information about the existence of more favorable offers from other market participants, including Ukrainian producers.

Finally, in the two episodes, Ukrzaliznytsia overpaid more than UAH 62.5 million. The funds were transferred abroad for further legalization.

On 24 Aug. 2023, NABU and SAPO put charges against the first deputy minister of agrarian policy and food and the former deputy minister of economy. The investigation is ongoing.

Misappropriation of Odesa Airport

In August, NABU and SAPO once again turned the spotlight on Odesa and some of its residents. They exposed a criminal group that misappropriated the assets of the Municipal Enterprise "International Airport Odesa" and respective revenues.

The scheme was organized by two local businessmen back in 2011. With the help of the then-mayor and in collaboration with the Odesa City Council they established a joint venture purportedly to invest in the development of the airport. In truth, their objective was to privatize the assets of the enterprise. It is crucial to note that the airport facilities intended for joint use was not subject to privatization at all, while the whole procedure was supposed to be carried out through an open tender.

Furthermore, under the agreement, the "investors" were supposed to build a new terminal and a runway at their expense. However, their investment activity was quite unusual: they pledged all communal property of the airport to the bank as collateral for a loan, which they used to build the terminal. While the construction of the runway never started.

As a result of the scheme, its participants misappropriated the airport's assets worth UAH 118 million and respective revenues worth over UAH 2.5 billion.

Five scheme participants have been notified of suspicion. The airport property complex has been seized by court. The investigation is ongoing.

PrivatBank case: episode four

This is the fourth episode in the PrivatBank case. However, it is the first time that the former ultimate beneficial owner of the financial institution, the former Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration, is suspected by NABU and SAPO along with other bank managers.

The crime scheme, organized in 2015 by the then-beneficiary, involved artificially creating an obligation for the bank to pay one of his controlled companies over UAH 9.2 billion under the pretext of buying back its bonds at inflated prices.

Part of these funds, over UAH 446 million, was laundered through the transfer disguised as securities trading operations to the accounts of several controlled entities. Then, the funds were deposited into the personal account of the bank's beneficiary who used them at his discretion and contributed to the bank's authorized capital in accordance with the National Bank of Ukraine's requirements.

The PrivatBank case contains over 2,500 volumes of materials and is one of the largest in the history of anti-corruption agencies. Corruption abuses at PrivatBank had been investigated by various law enforcement agencies. However, in the fall of 2019, the Prosecutor General ordered that NABU be the sole investigation body.

"Garbage" corruption in Sumy

Tackling garbage collection in the city and receiving bribes for it. This is the winning combination that seemed lucrative to two top officials in Sumy.

In October, NABU and SAPO exposed the mayor of Sumy and the head of the City Infrastructure Department who received UAH 1.4 million in undue advantage. This amount was the third and final tranche of the "reward" of UAH 2.13 million for the executive committee decision to establish an economically justified tariff for household waste management and not to obstruct the work of a garbage company. The promised "garbage" tariff had been approved by the city council's executive committee back in August, following the receipt of the first two installments totaling UAH 700,000.

After the exposure of the mayor and the director of the department, the investigating judge of the HACC granted the detectives' and prosecutors' requests and temporarily suspended both from their duties. They were also taken in custody as a preventive measure with an alternative to be released on bail. The investigation is ongoing.

The exposure of officials, documentation of their solicitation and the transfer of undue advantage became possible after the company owner filed a report with the National Bureau.

Corruption in defense sector: Ukrspecexport case

In 2023, the story of corruption in the defense sector in 2015-2017, the so-called Optimumspetsdetal case, had its development. This time, the former director of Ukrspecexport SE and the son of the former First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine were notified of suspicion.

During August 2016–February 2017, Ukrspecexport signed a contract with a company controlled by the son of the former First Deputy Secretary of the NSDC to purchase onboard radio electronic equipment (altimeters) at prices that were deliberately inflated by almost 7 times. As a result, the overpayment amounted to about USD 450,000. After Ukrspecexport settled the entire amount, the scheme participants collected the "profit" and used it at their discretion.

After receiving responses to requests for international legal assistance from the competent authorities of the United Arab Emirates and the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China, NABU detectives got evidence of the actual value of the delivered equipment, as well as the role and involvement of the relevant foreign companies and their officials.

Currently, the suspects are wanted internationally. The HACC granted the request for permission to conduct a special pre-trial investigation (in absentia) against them.

UAH 2.1 billion gas scheme

In October, NABU and SAPO charged an MP with organizing the misappropriation of natural gas from Novoyavorivska and Novorozdilska thermal power plants (the Lviv region) worth over UAH 2.1 billion.

During 2013-2017, the LLCs (owners of Novoyavorivska and Novorozdilska thermal power plants) controlled by the MP concluded a row of agreements with Naftogaz of Ukraine NJSC to purchase natural gas for the production of heat for the population. In order to reduce heating costs for this category of consumers, gas was supplied to the TPPs at preferential prices significantly lower than market prices. However, it was used in their own economic activities to produce electricity, which was then sold to the State Enterprise "Energorynok" at market prices. As a result, the profitability of electricity production at the TPPs in some periods exceeded 100% (compared to the 3-5% included in the tariff).

The MP is the sixth suspect in this case. Indictments against other participants of the scheme have been sent to court. The integral property complexes of Novorozdilska and Novoyavorivska thermal power plants valued at approximately UAH 800 million have been seized. Thanks to cooperation with foreign colleagues in one of the European countries, it was possible to trace and freeze EUR 2.3 million deposited by an MP's relative. The lawmaker is on the wanted list.

UAH 312 mln ammo depot construction embezzlement scheme

In October, NABU and SAPO exposed a scheme of misappropriation of funds from the Ministry of Defense, allocated for the construction of ammo depots.

In 2018, the then MP, who also owned construction companies, learned that the government was allocating funds for the construction of arsenals for the storage of missiles and ammunition, totaling roughly UAH 3 billion. Connections and influence helped him secure contracts for the companies under his control. Moreover, the MP lobbied through high-ranking military officers for passing amendments to the Cabinet resolutions allowing for an 80% advance payment for construction contracts.

As a result, the Ministry of Defense paid ‌UAH 312 million to a company controlled by the scheme organizer. The construction was supposed to be completed by 2021, but it was not. In fact, the contractor hardly commenced the construction works, while the received funds were transferred to the accounts of other controlled companies.

On 25 Oct. 2023, NABU and SAPO notified the former MP, his aide, the director of the controlled company, and three former and current MoD officers of suspicion. On 24 Jan. 2024, the investigation had to be completed after the court refused to extend its deadline.

UAH 126 million land scheme

In October, NABU and SAPO once again exposed a land fraud worth millions of hryvnias. The investigation covers the period of 2016-2019. During this period, a current member of the Ukrainian parliament organized a scheme to seize 323 hectares of land, leveraging influence over officials of the Main Department of the State Geocadastre in one of the regions.

According to the criminal plan, the director of a state enterprise with a row of land plots in use had to relinquish the land use right and submit an appropriate request to the regional State Geocadastre. After the termination of the land use right, the head of the Main Department of the State Geocadastre of the region registered the parcels with pre-determined persons, who later sold them to companies controlled by the scheme's organizer.

The detectives estimate their actions to have caused over UAH 126 million in losses to the state.

On 24-25 Oct. 2023, NABU and SAPO served charges on four participants in the scheme: the incumbent MP, the former head of the Main Department of the State Geocadastre in one of the regions, the former director of a state enterprise, the director of a private company. On 22 Jan. 2024, the investigation was completed.

UAH 100 million radiation control system scheme

In October, NABU and SAPO exposed multi-million misappropriation of funds allocated for the construction of the Centralized spent nuclear fuel storage facility.

Initiated in 2017, the project faced adjustments in 2020, necessitating the completion of ongoing work. To achieve this, a subsidiary of the State Enterprise NNEGC Energoatom concluded a contract with a predetermined company, bypassing an open contest. Furthermore, additional agreements tripled the initial contract price from UAH 421 million to UAH 1.497 billion and added as a special condition the procurement of equipment for the radiation control system. The contractor had previously purchased this equipment at market value but, after signing additional agreements, sold it to Energoatom at a significantly higher price, with the overpayment reaching almost UAH 100 million.

It is worth noting that the investigation into the above facts was preceded by an audio recording of a meeting in the office of a high-ranking Energoatom official, published by journalists. In the recording, participants of the meeting acknowledge that part of the funds allocated for the construction of the storage facility disappeared, including because they were embezzled.

NABU and SAPO served charges on the general director of a separate subdivision of Energoatom, the head of the Estimates and Contracts Department of a separate subdivision of Energoatom, the director of a private company and an employee of the company's legal department. The investigation is ongoing.

Nyvky Park case

Even the protected status of the capital's Nyvky park did not deter the ambitions of some officials from the Kyiv City State Administration.

In November 2019, the director of the Department of Land Resources of the Kyiv City State Administration (deputy head of the KCSA at the time of the crime) received a land management draft that stipulated the construction of a residential and office complex on the territory of the park. It's worth noting that in July 2019, the same document was rejected by the department due to the land plot being part of the natural reserve fund. Nevertheless, the official ignored this fact. Using false conclusion that the land plot did not belong to the nature reserve fund, he submitted a draft resolution to the Kyiv City Council to sanction its lease to a private company for the construction of a residential and office complex. As a result, the company received the 0.6-hectare part of the park for construction, and the Kyiv community lost the right to use it as a nature reserve. Fortunately, the court declared the city council's resolution illegal and the lease agreement void. The construction was halted.

On 2 Nov. 2023, the deputy head of the KCSA was notified of suspicion. On 15 November, the ex-head of a unit at the Department of Land Resources and the former director of the company were also served with charges. The investigation is ongoing.

Corruption at Volyn Customs

This case is yet another example of successful cooperation between Ukrainian anti-corruption agencies and their international counterparts. NABU and SAPO together with the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Republic of Poland exposed a criminal organization whose members facilitated illegal minimization of customs payments through the schemes of so-called "black" and "gray" imports within the jurisdiction of the Volyn Customs, causing over UAH 475 million in losses to the state.

The scheme involved the trafficking of high-value goods (mobile phones, computer equipment, clothing from renowned brands, etc.) through the international checkpoint Yahodyn disguised with 'cover goods' of significantly lower value.

Customs officers ensured customs clearance of these items without due diligence. They filed fraudulent reports of customs inspections and entered false information into the 'Inspector' automated customs clearance system.

At the end of the year, detectives and prosecutors notified 10 individuals of suspicion, including members of the criminal organization and officials of the Volyn Customs. By the early 2024, the number of suspects grew up to 15.

The investigation is ongoing. NABU and SAPO are identifying other possible participants of the crime.

Corruption at State Special Communications Service

It was quite unusual communication between high-ranking officials of the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) and the owner of a group of companies that caught the attention of anti-corruption agencies.

As established, in 2020-2022, the owner of a group of companies, in collusion with executives of the SSSCIP, devised a scheme to embezzle budget funds allocated for the purchase of equipment and software. To this end, two controlled companies were engaged, while the procurement was classified to avoid open bidding and ensure their victory. As a result, a state enterprise, which was to settle the deal, paid the companies over UAH 285 million, while the real value of the products made UAH 223 million. The markup of over UAH 62 million was then withdrawn through foreign companies, cashed in Ukraine, and distributed among the participants of the scheme.

On 20 Nov. 2023, the head of the SSSCIP and his deputy, the general director and an employee of the state enterprise, the owner of the group of companies (the organizer of the scheme) and one of his employees were notified of suspicion. NABU and SAPO also secured the seizure of USD 1.5 million in crypto assets found with the head of the SSSCIP. The investigation is ongoing.

Сorruption in restoration sector

One of the main tasks of the National Bureau in the context of country's recovery is prioritizing investigations in this area.

This is proven by a large-scale operation carried out by NABU and SAPO last November together with the Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine - Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, as well as the head of the State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine. As a result, two current MPs, officials, and business representatives were exposed offering undue advantages.

For rendering assistance in obtaining contracts, land and funds allocated for reconstruction projects, top officials in the recovery sector were offered money, real estate and even cryptocurrency. The bitcoins provided by an MP for the allocation of funds for the repair of an infrastructure facility under his control marked the first successfully documented undue advantage in cryptocurrency in the history of anti-corruption agencies.

In particular, detectives and prosecutors exposed three episodes of criminal activity.

As of the end of 2023, the pre-trial investigation was ongoing. However, by 11 Jan. 2024, NABU and SAPO had completed investigations into two episodes involving the MPs. The investigation into the third episode concerning the owner of a private company and the head of a state-owned enterprise is in progress.

Kyiv Appeals Court case

At the end of last year, a quartet of judges from the Kyiv Court of Appeal made headlines after receiving USD 35,000 in undue advantage.

It all began when a judge of the Kyiv Court of Appeal proposed to one of the parties in a case to secure lifting seizure of the company's property. In exchange, the company's representative had to give him and the panel of judges in the case USD 35,000. However, the offer was reported to the National Bureau, and detectives commenced documenting the crime. After receiving the full amount of the bribe, the intermediary judge retained USD 10,000, put USD 25,000 in a whiskey box and handed it over to the presiding judge. The latter divided the money into three parts, keeping the larger portion for himself and passing the rest to his colleagues, hiding the banknotes in a promotional brochure and coffee packaging.

On 29 Nov. 2023, the judges were exposed. During searches conducted at the judges' places of residence and work, detectives and prosecutors seized unlawfully obtained funds. The next day, all four were notified of suspicion, and in December, the High Council of Justice suspended them from exercising judicial functions because of criminal prosecution. The investigation is ongoing.

Criminal organization inside SPFU: new suspect

At the end of the year, the story of the criminal organization launched and run by the ex-head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine (2019-2022) continued. Its activities led to over UAH 400 million in damages to the state, while the exposure became one of the most significant cases in the history of Ukraine's anti-corruption agencies.

According to the investigation, in 2020, the head of the State Property Fund secured the election of controlled individuals as directors of JSC "Odesa Port Plant" and JSC "United Mining and Chemical Company." They had to act in the interests of the criminal organization, including entering into contracts with controlled companies to sell products to them at reduced prices or illegally prolonging unfavorable agreements, causing state enterprises to incur millions in losses.

In November 2023, NABU and SAPO updated charges against ten participants of the criminal organization. From then on, these persons have been also suspected of legalizing (laundering) criminal revenues worth over UAH 10 billion.

On Dec. 12, 2023, another participant in the criminal organization was notified of suspicion. The charges were brought against the former first deputy head of the State Property Fund (2021), who was an official of Ukrnafta at the time of the revelation.

NABU and SAPO are identifying other participants in the crime. The investigation is ongoing.

Judicial corruption

In the second half of 2023, NABU and SAPO exposed several corruption offences within the judiciary.

One of them involves the head of the State Judicial Administration, who is suspected of instigating the provision of undue advantage to judges of the Supreme Court in exchange for decisions in favor of a commercial enterprise.

Detectives caught the acting head of Kominternivskyi district court of Odesa region red-handed receiving almost UAH 50,000 for ruling in favor of a person. Similarly, a judge of the Brovary City District Court was detained after accepting USD 4,000 from a representative of one of the parties in a civil case.

A judge of the Prymorskyi District Court of Odesa was nabbed for soliciting USD 2,000 from a serviceman to allegedly facilitate a 'proper' decision by his colleague.

A lenient sentence in a fatal road accident case was valued at USD 10,500 by a judge of the Kropyvnytskyi Court of Appeals. Alas, the panel of judges of this court upheld the verdict of the first instance, so the money had to be returned almost in full. The judge still faced suspicion from NABU and SAPO. During searches of his accomplice's place, detectives discovered the remaining part of undue advantage - USD 450.