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Tax officials look into Interblue list

THE FINANCIAL Administration is already checking whether project manager of Interblue Group Rastislav Bilas, arms trader Norbert Havalec and his wife Katarína Kubáňová paid taxes from the money they received in connection to the controversial 2008 sale of carbon dioxide emissions to a garage-based company, Interblue Group, the Sme daily reported in its February 7 issue.

THE FINANCIAL Administration is already checking whether project manager of Interblue Group Rastislav Bilas, arms trader Norbert Havalec and his wife Katarína Kubáňová paid taxes from the money they received in connection to the controversial 2008 sale of carbon dioxide emissions to a garage-based company, Interblue Group, the Sme daily reported in its February 7 issue.

Their names appeared on the list published by the Special Prosecutor’s Office upon a request from Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák. Since all of them organised their business transactions from Slovakia, they should have paid the taxes to the country.

The Financial Administration has already checked the emission trade, but it found that the shell companies paid taxes in their tax havens. At the time they did not have the names of people standing behind these firms so they could not check whether they included these incomes to their tax declarations, as reported by Sme.

Bilas, who in 2010 publicly announced himself unexpectedly after Interblue Group was named in connection with a Swiss money laundering investigation, told Sme that he duly taxed in Slovakia the €500,000 he earned through the business.

It is not clear whether Havalec and his wife paid the taxes, Sme wrote.

In 2008 the state sold its excess carbon dioxide 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 state lost more than €47 million in what is described as one of the biggest scandals of the first government of Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The Interblue Group divided its profits among 10 other companies with three Slovaks in background. It seems that one of the companies, Ossian Establishment allegedly owned by a man with initials Jozef B. who has been described by media as a sponsor of Smer, returned the money to Interblue and their mutual balance is zero.

Back in 2010, Bilas claimed that Ossian returned the money on the day when Japanese company backed out of the deal, Sme wrote.

Meanwhile, Sme also obtained an anonymous letter claiming that the ruling Smer party, which led a coalition government back in 2008, was informed by the Slovak Information Service through a special report about the case.

Source: Sme

For more information about this story please see: Interblue mystery begins to unravel

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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