Czech police search state export firms CEB and EGAP


15.01.2014 11:53

Prague - The seats of the Czech state export-promoting companies, Czech Export Bank (CEB) and the Export Guarantee and Insurance Company (EGAP), have been searched by the anti-corruption police since this morning, Jaroslav Ibehej has confirmed for CTK.

Ibehej, spokesman for the anti-corruption police squad, said "we are carrying out acts of criminal proceedings, we will not provide any detailed information."

The Prague High State Attorney´s Office (VSZ) that supervises the case spoke similarly.

"We cannot provide any details," VSZ head Lenka Bradacova told CTK.

Last year the government took note of a report by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) according to which CEB provided unrightfully credits worth 8.2 billion crowns.

Besides, in a part of the credits the bank breached law, NKU said. If the debtors did not repay the money, the loss would go to the state.

The Insider server wrote later that CEB may lose up to seven billion crowns in unpaid export credits for which it did not negotiate pledges with the debtors.

EGAP spokeswoman Hana Hikelova said the police demanded documentation of more than ten business cases.

She said, referring to the EGAP management, the police operation also concerns some previously publicised cases, including most probably the financing of the construction of glassworks in Russia.

Last year media carried information on CEB and EGAP´s problems in Russia. According to Insider, CEB had to recall from Russia Jaroslav Poriz, head of its Moscow office, because the Russian bank Mezhtopenerg filed a criminal complaint against him on suspicion of fraud.

Several credits for the equipment of the glassworks that the local business family Sadovski is building in Rusisa are not allegedly being repaid.

Future Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said in an interview for today´s issue of daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) CEB and EGAP "need a good airing."

"It is necessary to find out how effectively they manage financial means, what assignments they get from the government, whether they act maximally transparently in providing credits and guarantees, or whether there is a closed business lobby that does not allow any outsider in," Sobotka said.

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