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Ukrainian Deputy Minister Detained Over Alleged $1.1 Million Bribe Scheme

Yuriy Hrymchak, deputy minister of temporarily occupied territories

A Ukrainian deputy minister and his aide have been detained after allegedly taking a bribe worth $480,000, the National Anticorruption Bureau (NABU) said on Facebook.

The August 14 statement names only the suspect's title -- deputy minister of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced people -- a post that Yuriy Hrymchak has held since March 2017.

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), however, confirmed that Hrymchak and his aide were caught "red-handed" while allegedly taking the money, NABU said.

The SBU stated the money was part of a $1.1 million bribe from an entrepreneur that the suspects demanded to "facilitate decision making by persons authorized to perform state functions."

No further details were provided.

Hrymchak and his unnamed aide have been charged with "large-scale or organized fraud," which is punishable by a prison term of up to 20 years, including confiscation of property.

The deputy minister's wife, Yulia Hrymchak, said the authorities searched their residence, according to a Facebook post.

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