Ukraine: Anti-Corruption Agency Detains Interior Minister’s Son

Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau detained three people Tuesday, one believed to be the son of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, for the alleged embezzlement of $520,000 (14 million hryvnia) from that ministry, according to The Washington Post.

800px-Аваков Арсен Борисович 0078 Чуприна Вадим А copyArsen Avakov (Photo: ВАДИМ ЧУПРИНА, CC BY-SA 4.0)Those arrested were thought to have stolen from funds given to the Interior Ministry to buy military backpacks from 2014 to 2015, according to a statement by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The others arrested are believed to be a former deputy minister and a businessman.

Avakov wrote on Facebook that his son, Oleksandr Avakov, had been arrested but was innocent. He said the act was politically motivated to pressure him.

Leader of his own radical party, Oleh Lyashko said the detainment of Oleksandr Avakov exemplified an attempt by President Petro Poroshenko to damage the interior minister’s credibility. Disagreements within Ukraine’s parliament coalition may be to blame.

The Ministry office condemned the arrests as “grounded in politics rather than the law,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“During his tenure as interior minister, false information about the minister, members of his family, and his closest colleagues has been disseminated to discredit Arsen Avakov,” the ministry press release said.

Oleksandr Avakov was released from custody on Wednesday under the condition that he appears in court as needed for the graft case.