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Interior Ministry bought flats from Bašternák’s brother

State lost around €1 million on deal, according to opposition.

Land on Rajská street. (Source: Sme)

The Interior Ministry has purchased flats in a suspicious transaction that appears linked to the family of Ladislav Bašternák, the businessman accused of tax fraud with connections to the Interior Minister, Robert Kaliňák of Smer, Sme daily reported on its website on May 4.

The minister was in a rush when securing apartments for police officers in late 2016, the Plus 7 dní tabloid daily reported on May 3. Instead of selling or auctioning two plots of unused land on Rajská and Bajkalská streets which would enable him to gain the maximum possible sum, Kaliňák exchanged these plots for four apartments in the Bratislava borough of Vrakuňa and got a surcharge up to the sum set in the expert’s opinion.

The market price for the land is €1.5 million but the ministry exchanged it for flats worth €500,000. The State thus lost around €1 million, according to the opposition. The Interior Ministry claims that the real price for these two pieces of land is lower and actually the state lost nothing.

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The lucrative land originally belonging to the state slipped into the hands of the firm Ivánska Cesta, the authorized representative of which is businesswoman Zuzana Kurucová who ran for a coalition led by Smer in the past. Her husband, Martin Kuruc, is the mayor of Vrakuňa and an ex-MP who also has close ties with Bašternák. He admitted that they were hunting together.

The administrator of the block of flats where all four flats are situated is the firm, House services, run by Peter Bašternák, Ladislav Bašternák’s brother.

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Ladislav Bašternák is accused of tax fraud committed during the purchase of seven other flats which he allegedly bought for an exceedingly high price and then received a high tax return from the state.

When the Financial Administration notified the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) about that complaint, it was refused in 2014. After the media reported the events in March 2016, the police reopened the case. The Opposition blames Kaliňák for halting the investigation in 2014.

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