Corruption, Energy, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 21.01.2019, 04:12

Lithuanian politicians, energy officials named as possible bribe recipients in Alstom case

BC, Vilnius, 28.12.2018.Print version
Lithuania's the then Economy Minister Viktor Uspaskich and his deputy Anicetas Ignotas, and Lietuvos Energija's former CEO Rymantas Juozaitis and the Elektrenai power plant's former CEO Pranas Noreika, as well as four other high-ranking energy officials, could have received almost 5 million euros in bribes from the French engineering giant Alstom, accodting to the 15min.lt reported on Friday LETA/BNS.

The bribes were allegedly paid to win two contracts, worth 240 mln euros, for upgrading the Elektrenai power station, according to a completed investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that was obtained by the news website.  


A British court a week ago handed down sentences to three bribers from Alstom and its Swedish unit, but possible bribe recipients were only named. In Lithuania, suspicions have only been brought against Juozaitis. 


The case file, which is available to 15min, includes well-known names and specific amounts, as well as accounts and the names of intermediaries. SFO found out that at least nine people in Lithuania had received bribes.

   

For example, Uspaskich, Ignotas, Juozaitis and Noreika allegedly received 2.75 mln euros in bribes. Another 2.33 mln euros in bribes were allegedly paid, via intermediaries, to Viktoras Mekas, the Elektrenai plant's former first deputy director, Jurgis Sapalas, its former chief engineer, Algimantas Jasinskas, its former project manager, and Jonas Gaidys, its former chief technical officer.

 

Three intermediaries were recorded in the case, but the money came to Lithuania via two of them, including Vilmetrona, which allegedly played a key role in paying bribes to Lithuanian officials.   


Alstom Power transferred 1.855 million euros and its Swedish unit transferred 470,000 pounds to the Vilnius-registry company, whose sole shareholder and CEO was Evaldas Cibulskas, between 2005 and February 2010. 


According to SFO, another 2.74 million euros in alleged bribe money were transferred to Pranciskus Jurgutis' Kruonio Hidroakumuliacines Elektrines Statyba, Alstom Power's sub-contractor in the Elektrenai plant upgrading project.  


British investigators say Uspaskich demanded 15 mln euros during a meeting with Jurgutis and a now-convicted Alstom representative for the group's projects in Lithuania to go ahead. It is said that the then economy minister could have been paid 1.53 mln euros.  


Lithuanian law-enforcement officials are also conducting a large-scale corruption and bribery investigation involving Alstom.






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