Crooks may land €2 million in land deals for Jaguar Land Rover

Speculators who have been buying up land from people with an eye to subsequent sales to make way for a new Jaguar Land Rover plant near Nitra may well make a net profit of up to €2 million, according to the head of the non-parliamentary Sieť party Radoslav Procházka. 

The site of new Jaguar Land Rover plant near Nitra The site of new Jaguar Land Rover plant near Nitra (Source: TASR)

The Jaguar Land Rover carmaker (JLR) announced the selection of Slovakia for its new plant on August 11 and it has already signed a letter of intent with the Slovak government for the potential development of a new manufacturing plant in the city of Nitra in western Slovakia, the company wrote in its press release.

Read also:Slovakia set to get Land Rover plant Read more 

The strategically located industrial park is planned to be built in Nitra and three nearby villages of Lužianky, Čakajovce and Zbehy. The cabinet has already approved the purchase of land for extension of the existing park in Nitra. The park will be built by the MH Invest company, operating under the Ministry of Economy, and the development has already received the label of a strategic investment which secures it faster settlement of land ownership and other administrative proceedings.

“Two weeks ago the first reports surfaced that several weeks before the official confirmation of the arrival of the new investment in Nitra landowners were inundated by all sorts of people who offered them a price to the tune of several tens of euro cents (per square metre), while the state is offering €15,” said Procházka on August 26, as quoted by the TASR newswire.  

Some 70, mostly elderly, people have fallen for the strategy, he added.

Read also:Company selling land for Jaguar plant oppose fraud claimsRead more 

“This fraud may be traced to a state-owned company. We harbour these suspicions for two reasons. First, an apparent letterbox company called Poľnohospodárska pôda (Agricultural Land) had the very same list of land plots and their owners as [the state-owned] MH Invest,” said Procházka, as quoted by TASR.

Another suspicious factor is that the contracts the crooks offered to people weeks before the investment have been confirmed to look much like the ones presented by MH Invest.

“They only differ in respect of how they are obliged to offer, stemming from the fact that one offer was made by a private company and the other by a state-run company, which needs to honour different regulations,” said Procházka, as quoted by TASR.

According to Procházka, the list and the contracts may well have the same authors, which substantiates suspicions - albeit not with certainty - that everything was orchestrated by someone close to the state-sponsored purchase of the land plots.

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