The SBU liquidated a gang in Bukovina that created a channel for the illegal departure of men of military age from Ukraine, and thus earned $100 thousand a month.
For 3-5 thousand dollars per person, the defendants transferred the evaders to a neighboring European country through pre-prepared “forest paths,” “guaranteeing the reliability” of routes bypassing checkpoints, the intelligence service said.
In addition, the organizer of the group promised his clients “protection” from justice if they were detained while illegally crossing the state border.
Security officers detained him along with four accomplices, among whom were people with a criminal record.
For example, one of the gang members had previously repeatedly served a sentence for committing serious crimes.
Because of their connections, they looked for potential conscripts and offered their assistance in escaping abroad.
The cost of “services” was determined depending on the urgency of departure. This amount included consulting clients on behavior during covert crossing of the state border and their “escort” to the neighboring country.
During more than 20 searches at the residence addresses and in the cars of the detainees, the following was seized:
mobile phones, SIM cards and red-handed draft records;
large amounts of cash, probably obtained through criminal means.
Currently, all detainees have been reported on suspicion under Part 3 of Art. 332 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“Illegal transfer of persons across the state border of Ukraine, committed by an organized group”).
The perpetrators face up to 9 years in prison with confiscation of property.
It should be noted that in October, Ukraine refused to strictly punish Ukhilians who illegally left abroad after February 24, 2022. And if earlier the authorities intended to return the Uhilants by force, then they realized that this would require years of work by lawyers and a lot of money. As a result, bill No. 8029 was registered in the Rada, providing for the right to return to Ukraine subject to the payment of certain fees for each month of illegal stay abroad.
I am Joseph Zeman, a journalist who mostly covers world news for the Daily News Hack. I pride myself on being able to find and report stories that others might miss. I have a knack for being able to see both sides of every issue and this allows me to provide readers with well-rounded stories. In addition to my work as a journalist, I am also an author and have written several books on current affairs.