REPORT: Arms Traffickers, Criminal Gangs Are Snatching Up Weapons Shipments To Ukraine

(trendingpoliticsnews) – The Defense Department’s inspector general report has found a lack of accountability and ability to track U.S. arms shipments meant for Ukraine, according to a report from The Daily Signal.

In one scheme that was disrupted by the Security Service Of Ukraine (SBU), a group posing as humanitarian aid workers managed to obtain a cache of U.S.-provided bulletproof vests.

“In late June 2022, the SBU disrupted a group of Ukrainian criminals posing as members of a humanitarian aid organization who distributed bulletproof vests,” reads the 19-page report, which was obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project. “The group illicitly imported the vests and sold them, rather than distributed them to Ukrainian forces. A member of the group was found with a cache of vests worth $17,000.”

The report goes on to list additional examples of weapons falling into the wrong hands. “In late June 2022, the SBU disrupted a group of arms traffickers who were selling weapons and ammunition stolen from the front lines in southern Ukraine,” the report says.

Other groups reportedly accessed weapons stockpiles and managed to steal hundreds of rifles, helmets and other equipment. “In mid-August 2022, the SBU disrupted a group of volunteer battalion members who took more than 60 rifles and almost 1,000 rounds of ammunition and stored them illegally in a warehouse, presumably for sale on the black market,” the report goes on to say.

To date, the U.S. has provided Ukraine with more than $113 billion in aid. Most of the funding has gone towards military support, though billions of dollars have also been spent on paying salaries of Ukrainian officials, humanitarian aid, and financial support.

Last month, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which would call for a special inspector general to oversee spending in Ukraine. This was done for past conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Biden Administration has opposed the idea of additional oversight, stating that the Pentagon inspector general’s office is enough.