Nataliia Osadcha, Co-founder of S&P Agency, Investment Risk Advisor. Published specially for “Ekonomicheskaya Pravda”.

If your counterparts are worked over the law enforcement agencies, most likely they will come to you. Always monitor the Unified Register of Court Decisions and be vigilant.

Recently, the sphere of IT business is of a great interest to law enforcement agencies.

The statistics of the Prosecutor`s General Office of Ukraine clearly indicate an increased number of criminal offenses in the IT sector by 1.5 times over the past two years.

So, in 2015, the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations recorded information on the commission of 598 criminal offenses, and in May 2017 such violations in the General Prosecutor`s Office already counted 810 cases.

Since the beginning of 2017 in the press regularly appears information about the conduct of searches in IT companies – Dragon Capital, Wnet, “M”, “Yandex”, Ideil by the law enforcement agencies.

Such criminal proceedings are investigated under articles of the Criminal Code that are not related to crimes in the IT sphere. They relate to the development, implementation and use of software. The companies that use the software fall into the risk zone. The law enforcement agencies increasingly use this “approach”.

For example, the case against Dragon Capital is being investigated in connection with the fact that representatives of special agencies of the Russian Federation, acting upon the previous agreement with representatives of the Smart Control and Infobezpeka Ltd, firms, established in Ukraine, illegally sell and use computers, mobile phones and software of Russian production.

All these technical means are classified as special technical mean tacit information. Although Dragon Capital is not listed in the plot of the criminal case, it was probably classified as a firm that illegally uses software.

Thus, the risks of the Dragon Capital and other companies, which use the controversial software, to be held criminally liable are quite high. The confirmation is in searches, conducted by law enforcement agencies, and seizure of servers. Will the leaders of companies reach suspicion? Maybe they will.

Today’s realities oblige the business to be ready for defense at any moment. Practice shows that the winner is the one who prepared well and did his homework long before the arrival of the “guests” in the office.

The loud headlines in the press about the “bulling” of law enforcement agencies on business, the accusations of law enforcers that they take away documents, equipment, servers, seals and materials are the evidence that the business is not ready for the period of turbulence in which today’s Ukraine lives.

We often comment on the business, list their mistakes made at the time of the searches, train and focus their attention on what needs to be done firstly to minimize risks.

If the company had taken anything, it means that it was not ready to defend itself.

Even if your company has not received any requests from the supervisory authorities, we still recommend that you constantly monitor the Unified Register of Court Decisions regarding your counterparties and any investigative actions conducted against them.

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If investigative actions are carried out in relation to your counteragents, the probability of the arrival the law enforcement agencies in your company is very high. High risk level can be identified at the start, while monitoring process goes.

For example, if Dragon Capital conducted such monitoring, then it would be ready for investigative actions. The company would have known that at the end of 2016, the National Security Agency conducted a series of searches of the software developers that it used.

Moreover, if you receive a request from the supervisory authority or the court’s decision on temporary access to things or documents, this is a harbinger of a search – unless, of course, you voluntarily gave the requested documents.

If the company issued all voluntarily, the search will still be carried out soon, and more “sighting”, taking into account the information received from the company. So, anyway it is necessary to prepare for the search.

Often advocates are not allowed to a started search, so the business should be ready to fight back on its own. What do you need to pay attention to, if the defender was not admitted during the investigation?

On the court ruling. It is necessary to verify the certificates of the security service agents on the correspondence of the names indicated in the ruling, the correspondence of the address, the correctness of the name of the company, the period of validity of the court ruling.

If everything is correct, the security service agents will have to admit if there will be a force call and additional costs. If there are comments, they should be displayed in the search protocol, which is formed by law enforcement agencies. Prior to the commencement of the investigation, it is necessary to submit a petition about their photo and video recording. It is necessary to be specified in the search protocol.

Satisfaction of this petition is mandatory, and its dissatisfaction will help to recognize that the investigative actions as illegal, and the evidence collected during such search is inadequate. Records from cameras installed inside and outside the building can also come in handy for the evidence base.

These are the simplest measures that will help the business to defend its interests and hold liable security agents for violations. It works.

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