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What percent of weapons sent to Ukraine being diverted by Ukrainian criminal enterprises?


Prior to the Russian invasion, Ukraine was viewed as being one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, as well as being one of the largest arms trafficking markets in Europe. That has not changed with the advent of the Russo / U.S-Ukraine-Europe war.

According to the Organized Crime Report: “Ukraine is believed to have one of the largest arms trafficking markets in Europe. While it has long been a key link in the global arms trade, its role has only intensified since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.”

The Organized Crime Report gives Ukraine a criminality score of 6.18, making it the 34th most criminally influenced county out the 193 rated, and the 3rd most out of the 44 European Countries. Of particular note is that a significant portion of the criminality has been around the illegal trafficking of weapons, Consequently, it is no surprise that organized crime in Ukraine is taking advantage of the billions of dollars worth of weapons flowing to Ukraine. And this has resulted in weapons intended to help Ukraine fight Russia are finding their way to other countries via criminal channels. In particular, as reported by Zero Hedge, the Finland National Bureau of Investigation is reporting:

"NBI: Arms sent to Ukraine in criminal hands." The NBI is Finland's federal National Bureau of Investigation, and the report is from Finland's national public broadcasting company Yle, and provides confirmation that arms intended for Ukrainian forces are going outside the country.

Neighboring countries have recorded instances of West-provided arms proliferating from the Ukrainian battlefield and into the hands of criminals in neighboring Sweden and Denmark as well.

"Weapons shipped [by various countries] to Ukraine have also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands," NBI Detective Superintendent Christer Ahlgren was quoted in the Finnish publication as saying.

"We've seen signs of these weapons already finding their way to Finland," Ahlgren added. Some of this illicit arms trafficking is being brokered in online forums frequented by criminal gangs. According to more from the NBI lead investigator:

"Three of the world's largest motorcycle gangs—that are part of larger international organizations—are active in Finland. One of these is Bandidos MC, which has a unit in every major Ukrainian city," he explained. "We know that contacts and routes are being warmed up, so that they're in place."

What percent of weapons sent to Ukraine by U.S and Europe are being diverted by Ukrainian criminal enterprise?

No one know, but though it is probably a relatively small percent, it could easily be in 10's of millions and $100's of millions by the time the war concludes. This is just another reason that better oversight is required of the *$113 billion that United States has committed to Ukraine as summarized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

*Note: the CSIS report was done prior to the U.S. Senate bumping up the amount of support for Ukraine from the Biden administration request of $37 billion, to $45 billion. So the $113 billion cited is based on the $45 billion, not the $37 billion

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