The national anti-corruption bureau and the security service of Ukraine on Tuesday searched the home of Andrii Baloha, the mayor of Mukachevo, a city in the Zakarpattia region in western Ukraine and a member of an influential local family, LIGA.net has learned.
A source in SBU told us Mr Baloha is under investigation relating to the sale of municipal land to a ‘criminal authority’, allegedly at a 'discount' of UAH 100 million.
Searches were also carried out at the offices of Mykhailo Lanyo, the head of the Mukachevo district council, and a number of companies, which could be involved in a corruption scheme relating to the sale of municipal land.
"This is a tidbit of land in the centre of Mukachevo on the banks of the Latorytsia River," the SBU source said.
In the summer, the Mukachevo city council put up for auction three hectares of municipal land, which, according to the investigation, was ten times undervalued.
The winner was Universal M, a company owned by Mr Lanyo, a "criminal authority", the source told LIGA.net, without details. However, some reports suggest that Mr Lanyo has been in charge of smuggling schemes, given that Zakarpattia borders with Hungary and Slovakia.
According to local media, Universal M did not allow residents of Mukachevo who opposed the sale of the land to attend the session where the deal was effected.
A former MP, Andrii Baloha has been mayor of Mukachevo since 2015. He is part of the Baloha family, known to exert notable influence in the Zakarpattia region.