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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian Tax Official Arrested

KIEV, Ukraine - A Ukrainian tax official was arrested for allegedly assisting a criminal group in smuggling metal worth $1 million in a scam crossing three nations, police said Friday.

The official from western Ukraine, whose name was not released, was allegedly given a Toyota car worth $18,000 and $3,000 in cash to pay customs duties for it in exchange for his services, the Interior Ministry said.

The official also managed to have his daughter named executive director of one of the group's companies, promising in return that the criminals would not be subjected to tax audits, the ministry said.

The group itself, which has smuggled 17,000 metric tons of scrap metal to a non-existent company in Poland and from there to a plant in Hungary, was exposed last month in a joint action by law-enforcement agents from Ukraine, Hungary and Poland.

Corruption has become rampant in Ukraine since the 1991 Soviet collapse and it frequently affects even those state services that are charged with enforcing the law.