: Ukraine opens criminal case against its diplomats in Slovakia

11:56 May. 25, 2016

Ukraine opens criminal case against its diplomats in Slovakia

Detail of a scale to use as a symbol for justice on April 24, 2015 in Muehlberg, Germany (Getty Images)

Ukrainian diplomat's relative caught red-handed smuggling cigarettes into Europe

Zakarpattia Prosecutor's Office announced they launched criminal proceedings into the abuse of office and document forgery by diplomats of Ukraine's Embassy to Slovakia.

The prosecutor's office explained: "This regards an incident that happened on May 21 when Ukrainian officials in Slovakia abused their position of authority. They used an Embassy official car and tried to smuggle a large batch of excisable goods - tobacco products - to Europe, under the guise of diplomatic mail that is not subject to control under the Vienna Convention, in order to illegally enrich themselves and avoid customs control."

On 21 May Zakarpattia customs officers discovered nearly 60,000 packs of Ukrainian-made cigarettes in a car, driven by a Ukrainian man holding diplomatic passports, at the Ukrainian-Hungarian border. The Ukrainian driver produced a letter from one of Ukrainian embassies confirming that he transported a diplomatic cargo in his vehicle, which was not subject to control according to the Vienna Convention.  

Read also Ukrainian diplomat caught red-handed smuggling?

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Photo courtesy - State Fiscal Service in the Zakarpattya region

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry did not name the detainee, instead the officials suggesting naming him "a citizen called L".

Read also Zakarpattia governor concedes defeat in war on tobacco mafia, wants to resign

However, Zakarpattia governor Hennady Moskal said that it was Kyiv's resident Serhiy Lischyshyn, husband of the first Secretary of Ukraine's Embassy to Slovakia Oksana Lischyshyn, who tried to smuggle USD 25,000 worth of cigarettes across the Ukrainian-Hungarian border.

On May 24, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry reported that Oksana Lischyshyn was withdrawn to Ukraine.

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