Police investigate ferry tender scandal

THE POLICE have launched an investigation into the €25 million contract for ferry transport across the Danube River.

(Source: Sme)

“The police are checking the approaches of Vodohospodárska výstavba and the Environment Ministry,” Police Presidium spokesperson Michal Slivka told the Sme daily. “It is not possible to provide any further information in this stage of the investigation in order to avoid the destruction of evidence.”

The contract for ferry transport across the Danube River for the next 15 years was signed between the state-run Vodohospodárska Výstavba company, operating under the Environment Ministry, and Ponton City which is, according to media reports, linked to a shell firm known to have been involved in the emission quotas scandal of the first Robert Fico government (2006-10).

Read also:Ferry tender scandal has links to top Smer officials Read more 

Construction of a special ferry for the purposes of the contract was completed before its design was specified in competition.

The shareholders of Ponton City are CFS and Spinex. The former is owned by the US firm Business Investments which resides at the same address as Interblue Group, the company which acquired emission quotas from Slovakia in 2008 for below their market value and then sold them on to Japan, causing Slovakia a loss estimated at €47 million. Spinex is owned by BJMC, linked to Jozef Blaško who is, according to the Týždeň weekly, a relative of a Smer sponsor Ľubomír Blaško, Sme reported.

Additionally, both shareholders were represented in Ponton City by lawyer Michaela Töroková, a partner at RHK Real company. According to the business register, one of the co-owners of the firm is Defence Minister Martin Glváč, the Denník N daily wrote.

The Environment Ministry has sent inspectors to the procurer, the state-run Vodohospodárska Výstavba company, and is ready to draw consequences if they discover any flaws.

The opposition initiated a non-confidence motion in Environment Minister Peter Žiga over the controversial contract. Žiga will face the opposition’s attempt to dismiss him on December 11, as Speaker of Parliament Peter Pellegrini has convened an extraordinary parliamentary session for that time.

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