Justice Ministry jointly with National Police wants to combat illegal seizures in Ukraine

Ukraine's Justice Ministry has initiated the creation of a group to combat illegal seizures jointly with the police, amendments to legislation and launches a new service – SMS messages about changes in the companies or property registers.

"Based on the work of the commission [that discussed claims against actions of public registrars] we have analyzed the most frequent cases and schemes they [illegal seizers] use and proposed legal changes to remove any risks of attempts to seize property," First Deputy Justice Minister Natalia Sevostianova said at a briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Deputy Justice Minister for registration Pavlo Moroz also said that the ministry has drawn up mechanisms for effective fight against illegal seizures.

"If an illegal seizure happens, the first instance where to address to is the National Police… We have drawn up a draft and it will be signed soon. This is a draft memorandum with the National Police and the Interior Ministry. We want to create a joint group that would effectively and instantly react to any illegal seizures in the country," he said.

Commenting on legislative initiatives in the area of strengthening combat against illegal seizures, Moroz said that this concerns receiving an ownership right certificate on paper to avoid a new registration action without it. The Justice Ministry proposes equaling the rights of notaries with other public registrars. The exterritoriality principle would be in effect for registration of new business, while changes to the register can be done only within one region.

Moroz said that punishment of applicants and public registrars should be toughened.

"As soon as punishment of applicants and public registrars is toughened and first cases of arrests of illegal seizures are recorded, illegal seizures in our country would come to null," Moroz said.

The amendments will be discussed by the working group. The bill will be drafted by late August.

Sevostianova said that from September, the Justice Ministry introduces a new service - SMS messages about changes in the companies or property registers.

"From September we offer a new service that would be available for those who want to receive it. These are SMS messages on any changes in the register concerning business or property. This would help to quickly react if something happens with property, or you see that someone makes changes to the register and at once address the law-enforcement services to open criminal cases and to the commission of the Justice Ministry to quickly annul the changes," she said.