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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Ukraine Iraq force ex-head held
Ukrainian troops in Iraq (October, 2004)
Ukraine's Iraq force is in the process of being withdrawn
The former commander of Ukraine's troops in Iraq has been arrested on money smuggling charges, Ukrainian prosecutors have said.

The charges against Maj Gen Serhiy Savchenko relate to allegations dating back to his command of the 1,600-strong contingent, which ended in May.

The prosecutors' statement gave no more details about the arrest.

Kiev has begun a phased withdrawal of the troops, which is expected to be completed by 15 October.

Local media said Maj Gen Savchenko was suspected of smuggling hard currency into Ukraine.

In February, security forces detained a group of military officers accused of trying to smuggle $300,000 (166,000) into the country.

Prosecutors are also investigating allegations that money intended for operations in Iraq has been diverted, reports say.

President Viktor Yushchenko has pledged to crack down on corruption by officials.

Several criminal investigations have been started since he took power in January, mostly against people close to the previous government of former President Leonid Kuchma.

Dutch and Ukrainians leave Iraq
15 Mar 05 |  Middle East
Ukraine announces Iraq pull-out
10 Jan 05 |  Europe


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