Ukraine convict accused of ammo sale fraud

A prisoner serving time in Ukraine is facing an extended sentence after allegedly using internet access to defraud servicemen with fake offers of war supplies.

Cyber police in Zaporizhzhia put a stop to what they say were further crimes by the convicted felon, who allegedly conned at least eight military victims with fake offers to sell them ammunition.

The Cyber Police of Ukraine did not name the suspect but described him as a 33-year-old man from Zaporizhzhia already serving a jail sentence for “self-interested crimes.”

“On the internet, he published fake ads for the sale of ammunition, and when he received a subscription, he blocked buyers,” police said. “Eight defenders [of Ukraine] became victims of the fraudster's actions, who together lost about 100,000 hryvnias [about $2,500].”

On January 19th, police conducted searches in the Zaporizhsky Pre-trial Detention Center and at the homes of owners of bank cards used for money transfers involved in the fraud.

“As a result of the measures, mobile phones, bank cards, SIM cards, and draft records were seized, which confirm the criminal activity of the person involved,” said the Cyber Police of Ukraine in a statement issued several days later.

The alleged crime comes at a particularly painful time for beleaguered Ukraine, with concerns voiced last month that its soldiers could literally run out of ammunition to use against invading Russian forces if the US does not renew funding following a political deadlock in Congress.

Police believe there may have been more victims and are conducting an inquiry to determine the full extent of the alleged cyber fraud. If found guilty, the suspect faces having his existing prison terms increased by another eight years.