She loudly spoke out against corruption at sea, but she herself was among the defendants in the anti-corruption case. The detention of public figure Kristina Korol by the Security Service in Odessa stirred up the maritime community and brought to the surface the details of a multi-million dollar scam with the issuance of documents to sailors. What exactly is the King suspected of, where is the chain of corruption going, and what does the Deputy Minister have to do with it?
The details of the scandalous maritime case were revealed in a new investigation by StopKora journalist Artem Polikovsky.
The editors of StopKor have been closely following the maritime industry of Ukraine for several years now, where high-profile corruption scandals regularly flare up. Therefore, the news about the detention by the SBU of the Odessa activist and blogger Christina Korol, who in recent years allegedly opposed bribery and corruption in the maritime sector, caused astonishment.
What exactly is the SBU suspecting of the activist? The king is accused of creating a system of extortions from sailors and organizing a scheme for conscripted draft dodgers to leave Ukraine.
According to the investigation, which was announced by the Odessa media with reference to sources in law enforcement agencies, the activist allegedly estimated the issuance of the so-called “white ticket” at 6 thousand dollars, and the price for issuing certificates and successfully passing exams for sailors reached from 4.5 to 8 thousand “conventional units”.
“The news really became resonant, especially in Odessa. But we were surprised that after the information about the detention of the King was published in the press, and the First City TV channel even filmed a special report about her “exploits”, the so-called “cleansing” began in the media: materials about the King in a strange way began to disappear from websites, and Perviy Gorodny even deleted its special report,” journalist Artem Polikovsky notes.
So, the StopCora team decided to take a closer look at the personality of the Odessa activist and her connections.
Almost immediately it became clear: Kristina Korol is only the tip of the corruption iceberg. In addition to her, the profit from the scheme was probably received by: Valery Postolatiy, head of the so-called “Training Center for Maritime Transport Specialists”, on whose behalf documents were issued to sailors, and Andrey Mashchenko, head of the investigation of the Primorsky Police Department. And this chain leads right up to the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Yuriy Vaskov.
It is interesting that in the “missing” plot of “First City” there was a revealing fragment: Kristina Korol’s husband, also a sailor, frankly told how his wife and Valery Postolaty accelerated the issuance of the necessary papers for money, stamped certificates bypassing the registers through their own center. The plot itself was deleted, but traces of it remained on the network.
“For some time, the well-established scheme worked without failures, until Law 3944 was adopted in Ukraine, which provided for the introduction of a single electronic database. This blocked the cash flow to businessmen. In order for the corruption scheme to continue to bring in millions, Kristina Korol and Valery Postolatiy decided, no matter what it takes, to disrupt the introduction of a single electronic database for sailors,” the journalist comments.
Then the businessmen came up with a new way to preserve the corruption “feeding trough”.
Rather dirty methods were used: from paid rallies to outright provocations. And these are not empty words, because the reporters managed to interview Svyatoslav Zakharchenko. His Kristina Korol and Valery Postolaty were hired to organize paid rallies and extras for them, but in the end they framed him and “threw”, after which he agreed to reveal the whole truth.
“I was offered to make good money, and justified it in a rather pragmatic and efficient way. At the same time, it is desirable to maintain the course of action that was before the reform, before the electronic registry – there are a number of measures that can be taken, and they will be well paid, ”says Zakharchenko.
At that time, actions and pickets began to take place in Odessa with the blocking of roads and rallies, which were led by the activist Korol. And frank manipulations began to appear in the media. The struggle was so fierce that the King and Postolatius resorted to repeatedly disrupting the work of the sailors’ certification center.
As a result, after several attempts, the dealers decided to switch to more drastic methods: according to an insider, Andrei Mashchenko, the head of the investigative department of the Odessa Regional Police Department, was involved in the scheme, who was able to organize pressure on the electronic register from law enforcement officers. According to Zakharchenko, it was Mashchenko who found the way out to the employees of the cyber department of the SBU, which blocked the work of the electronic registry for three months.
And with the outbreak of war, Korol and Co. implemented a new scheme for sailors.
As Ruslan, the husband of the suspect, said, stamps were made on the “fake” medical certificates, and on the basis of these certificates, documents were issued about the unsuitability of this citizen for military service – the so-called “white ticket”.
Could the King and Postolatius have carried out the corrupt document deal on their own? Who gave money for this? Our insider notes: he did once find out the name of the real beneficiary of this scheme.
“Each power action, which we did together with Kristinina, cost about 20-30 thousand dollars, depending on the number of people participating in such an extras. Someone financed it, and it was clearly not Valera. I’ve always wondered who calls the music, and Christina let it slip. She said it was Yuri Vaskov,” Zakharchenko recalls.
Why is Yuri Vaskov famous?
Vaskov is the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, and in the past, the odious head of the USPA, who managed to “light up” in a number of corruption scandals.
It is worth adding that on the network you can find a rather interesting video in which Kristina Korol allegedly communicates with Deputy Minister Vaskov and agrees with him … on a position in the ministry.
The connection of the deputy minister with the King and Postolatius is also confirmed by Christina’s husband: he notices that it was Vaskov who helped them issue documents bypassing the register.
So, this whole story is just a part of the corruption chain that stretches to the highest offices of power. While the investigation into the case of Christina Korol is gaining momentum, journalists are already preparing the next series of investigations, in which they will shed more light on the role of officials of the Ministry of Infrastructure in such frauds. To be continued.
Recall that last year the maritime industry was entrusted to oversee the former Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yuriy Vaskov, well-known in a number of criminal cases, who from 2011 to 2013 served as the head of the Odessa port. The appointment of Vaskov as Kubrakov’s deputy was allegedly actively lobbied within the walls of the Cabinet of Ministers.
It should be noted that within the framework of the pre-trial investigation, the bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs under the procedural leadership of the Office of the Prosecutor General considered the facts of the criminal conspiracy of Vaskov’s companies with foreign grain traders, who, due to pocket offshore companies, withdrew millions of dollars from Ukraine. Interestingly, the machinations of Vaskov’s companies became interested not only in Ukraine, but also in the United States.