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Huge Purges Start At Ukrainian Customs Agency

The head of Ukraine's State Customs Service Maksym Nefyodov (file photo)
The head of Ukraine's State Customs Service Maksym Nefyodov (file photo)

The head of Ukraine’s State Customs Service, Maksym Nefyodov, has said his agency, which has been beset with corruption problems, will undergo a huge makeover next year and that he has started taking steps toward that goal, according to a presentation he gave to business associations, diplomats, donors, and political stakeholders in Kyiv on December 11.

Eighty percent of his Kyiv staff and 40 percent of officials at border posts have been purged, his "New Customs" plan says.

Nefyodov, a former investment banker, has had free rein to revamp the customs service since the old agency was abolished earlier this year.

In previous interviews given this year, Nefyodov said state coffers lose between $4 billion and $8 billion due to corruption.

"Furthermore, there are indirect losses from the decline in business activities, the deterioration of the business climate, tax evasion and illegal employment. Companies that operate in the shadows can’t attract loans and develop further," he told Business News Europe about his policy of zero tolerance of corruption.

Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk praised the customs service head's initial moves.

"I personally warn every bribe-taker or smuggler that the time of the schemes on which you made a fortune have passed," he said.

Additionally, according to Nefyodov's vision, seized goods will be auctioned online on an existing platform that is used for public procurement.

Twelve border checkpoints are slated for renovation and 11 mobile scanners will be installed.

Based on reporting by Delo, Liga News, Business News Europe, and Ukraine Business News

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