Anti-corruption NGOs say the Civic Democrats (ODS) are trying to thwart legislation granting the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) powers to control and audit the finances of state and city-owned entities — powers that they say are essential to combat organized crime in the public sphere. The amendment’s author, MP Stanislav Polčák (TOP 09), supports the NGOs’ claim about obstruction by the ODS – its coalition partner.
Czech anti-corruption police have been investigating state-controlled power utility ČEZ due to suspicions of criminal abuse of information and fiduciary violations for several months now, the Prague prosecutor’s office has confirmed. Media reports say the investigation likely centers on orders that ČEZ management — including ex-chief Martin Roman — gave over the past decade to Škoda Holding.
Hoping to prove that not only the bad guys can profit from graft, a Czech has created a tour company which invites customers to visit some of the country’s many corruption landmarks. There is a lot to offer in Prague and its surroundings but centers of corruption interest are also offered away from the capital.
Cokeville Assets Inc. — the offshore firm that made tens of millions for having brokered a contract between the Prague transport company (DPP) and a domestic printer to produce metro, tram and bus tickets, in an alleged “kickback” scheme — also earned a sizable commission for advising on the sale of Czech engineering giant Škoda Plzeň’s power equipment unit, Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) reports.
A government- commanded audit by state-controlled power company ČEZ of contracts sealed with turbine producer and maintenance company Škoda Power during the era of former ČEZ chief Martin Roman appears to put him in the clear as regards suspicions that he favored the company owned by his former employer. Media reports last year suggested Roman maintained links with the group owning Škoda Power, which landed billions of crowns worth in ČEZ contracts.
Škoda Transportation posted a net profit amounting to 27 percent of turnover for 2010 thanks to orders from Czech Railways (ČD) and from Czech towns and cities, which accounted for around 80 percent of the firm’s total sales for the year. By comparison, the most recent financial results for the world’s largest manufacturers of locomotives, trams, and light railways are considerably lower.
Swiss detectives probing the MUS case have discovered that after its purchase of Czech engineering giant Škoda Plzeň, the controversial Appian Group transferred a staggering Kč 150 million in “consultation fees” to a Virgin Islands shell company — which in turn sent it on to firms connected to reputed Czech mobsters and a consulting firm that was advising the Czech state on the Škoda Plzeň sale.
The Czech edition of Forbes hit the newsstands on Thursday, following on the successful launch of local language versions of the famous American business magazine elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe (starting with Russia and Poland), as well as in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The cover issue features an interview with Jannis Samaras, the CEO of Czech softdrinks company Kofola.
Eleven Czech NGOs active in anti-corruption and good governance campaigns have united to call for former ČEZ boss Martin Roman to step down as supervisory board chairman until he can clear his name over ongoing links with a major ČEZ supplier, engineering firm Škoda Holding. They have also demanded reforms to prevent conflict of interest situation from arising again.
Former ČEZ boss and supervisory board head Martin Roman has admitted connections to offshore trusts linked to the owner of the Škoda Holding group, but maintains they were cut before he became CEO of the state-controlled power company. Roman says he is being targeted in a battle between ČEZ and Czech mining group Czech Coal worth hundreds of billions of crowns.