Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zguladze, whom President Poroshenko invited to help him to fight corruption in the police, was caught at the Borispol Airport when trying to take $4mn out of the country.
According to former Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko, two weeks ago Zguladze, who is expecting a child, was going to leave for France to join her husband but was detained at the Borispol Airport with a suitcase containing as much as $4mn. “Zguladze said it was her own money. She said she needed it for medical service in France,” Zakharchenko says.
Then she called Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who used all of his influence to see Zguladze off to France. “He called the Chief of the Border Service, whose phone was certainly tapped by the Security Service. As a result, Chief of the Security Service instructed his men to find out what money that was and they found out that $10mn was given to Zguladze and Avakov for reforms in the police but they misused it,” Zakharchenko says.
In Georgia, Zguladze was part of Mikheil Saakashvili’s team and was even acting police minister. She left the country the moment Saakashvili resigned.
On Dec 13, 2014, she was given a Ukrainian passport and was appointed Deputy Interior Minister of Ukraine. Shortly afterwards she renamed Ukraine’s militia into police and appointed her friend, former Education Minister of Georgia Khatia Dekanoidze as their chief.
In July, Zguladze replaced state traffic inspectorate with patrol police in all of the country’s big cities.
She was also going to replace police duty officers with U.S.-type sheriffs.
She is best known for her following words: “The system of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry must be made simpler. Everything must be transparent. We need to optimize the traffic inspectorate, just like we did in Georgia. There we fired several thousand policemen. For two weeks Georgia had no police but nothing happened. When Ukraine’s militia are replaced with police, when Ukraine’s policemen are given high wages, new uniforms and cars, when they start serving their country rather than their own selves, it will become a prestigious job to be in police.”