He said on the air of Channel 5, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.
"None of the pumps operated behind backs of the law enforcement officers in the Rivne region - as soon as they appeared, they were instantly prevented by corrupt police officers or their henchmen applying vigilante justice or initiating relevant criminal proceedings under Article 240, which allowed seizing tools necessary for amber extraction... The Rivne region is riddled with these 'metastases' of corruption. It [amber extraction] needs to be legalized, or all state agencies should focus on combating those who receive bribes from it [illegal amber extraction]," he said.
According to Matios, the total amount of bribes received by five detained officials, as established by the Military Prosecutor's Office, was $1.3 million.
Ealier, the issue of illegal amber extraction in the territory of the Zhytomyr, Rivne, and Volyn regions spread last year. Thousands of locals and out-of-towners started mining amber illegally and indiscriminately, thus savagely destroying local ecosystems.
This year's scale of illegal extraction was so large that the authorities were forced to deploy the National Guard of Ukraine detachments in these regions.
The law enforcement agencies have been increasingly reporting about arrests of large-volume amber dealers.
According to experts, this problem can be resolved not only by raids against the illegal miners, but also by a legislative initiative. The Volyn Regional Council authorized a company to develop amber for the first time in May 2015.
Yesterday, July 4, law enforcers conducted a large-scale operation titled 'Burshtyn' (amber) in the Rivne region, with participation of more than 400 field investigators. Deputy head of Rivne regional prosecutor Andrii Borovyk has been detained. The National Police also informed that an amber mafia boss was detained in Kyiv. Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko announced of his intentions to dismiss Rivne regional prosecutor Anatolii Kovalchuk.
Related materials: Amber mafia