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Special Prosecutor’s Office publishes list of emission scandal profiteers
5 Feb 2014 Flash News
The Special Prosecutor’s Office published the list of companies which profited from the shady sale of excessive carbon-dioxide emissions via the garage company Interblue Group. Independent MP and former two-time minister Daniel Lipšic (now head of the NOVA party) also leaked a scheme concerning the profits from the sale. Lipšic showed the way in which the profits were divided among those involved, the Sme daily wrote February 5.
In 2008, the state sold its excess CO2 emissions quotas to a small, unknown firm called Interblue Group, then operating out of a US garage, at €5.05 per ton, a price significantly lower than the market value. The police estimated the damages suffered by the state at about €66 million. The deal resulted in the dismissal of at least two environment ministers nominated by the Slovak National Party (SNS), as well as the SNS eventually losing political control of the ministry. The firm was subsequently dissolved and was reported to have been re-established as Interblue Group Europe, registered in Switzerland.
According to the documents, ten companies divided the money among themselves, with six persons behind them. Two names from the SPO document – that also are included in Lipšic’s scheme – are Norbert Havalec and Rastislav Bilas. However, one name from Lipšic list is not included on SPO list: Jozef B. which allegedly stands for Jozef Brhel, a business tycoon close to the ruling Smer party. Brhel has denied his involvement.
The SPO information comes in the wake of help from Swiss judiciary bodies between 2010 and 2011, Jana Tökölyová told the TASR newswire. The list, demanded by Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, includes companies registered in Slovakia FINANCIAL PUBLIC SERVICE, MILENIUM TRADING, KAREX FOOD and natural persons Norbert Havalec and Rastislav Bilas. Companies registered abroad include OSSIAN ESTABLISHMENT LTD., owned by Rastislav Bilas; ATZIOX LTD., owned by Norbert Havalec, Ján Smolen and manager in Cyprus Michalis Avraam;. HSBC LTD (based in Hong-Kong with Japanese owners trading in emissions); and CRATAEGUS DEVELOPMENT INC., owned by Czech Marek Pleyer.
Lipšic who blacked out names on his list, admitting it need not be trustworthy, insists, as quoted by the SITA newswire, that Brhel’s name is missing from the SPO list.
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