Top migration officer charged with extorting money from foreigners

Pimakhova is charged with soliciting bribes from foreigners for work permits and citizenship cards. She denies the charges.

Dina Pimakhova, former first deputy head of the State Migration Service, was placed under overnight house arrest for two months, the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine ruled on Dec. 23.

According to the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, Pimakhova, appointed deputy head of the State Migration Service in January 2017, was offering foreigners a legal way to stay in Ukraine – for money.

In June 2017, she allegedly sold a Ukrainian work permit to a citizen of Vietnam for $1,800.

In November 2017, the case of Pimakhova became a bone of contention between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the State Security Service.

The bureau’s agent tried to offer Pimakhova a bribe to produce a Ukrainian passport for an Iranian citizen who has never been to Ukraine. Pimakhova allegedly promised to provide fake documents proving that the Iranian had ancestors from Ukraine and demanded $30,000 for her services.

However, the bureau’s agent was arrested by the State Security Service for provoking a bribe. The State Migration Service issued a statement saying that the Anti-Corruption Bureau was trying to frame Pimakhova.

In response, the NABU released audio recordings where their agent talks to a woman, allegedly Pimakhova, about buying the passport for the fictional Iranian citizen. The woman eagerly offers to provide fake documents, including the result of DNA analysis, to prove the Iranian’s Ukrainian origin.

Pimakhova was fired by the Cabinet of Ministers in March 2018.

Now she is facing 8 to 12 years in prison.


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