Emissions Scandal Starts to Reveal Beneficiaries
An article in today’s SME daily looks in more detail at the Slovak citizens who allegedly cashed in on the emissions sale scandal from 2008, which saw EUR 47 million being made in commission by the mediation company Interblue Group, based on information from the Special Prosecutor’s Office.
U.S. garage-based company Interblue Group was the main channel for receiving the whopping commission, which was then redistributed through ten other companies, with the final destination of the money still very much an unknown. So far the names of three people (Rastislav Bilas, Norbert Havalec and his wife Katarina Kubanova) have been extracted from the list sent by Swiss authorities, revealed only this week after pressure from the media.
Former interior minister and independent MP from the freshly established NOVA party, Daniel Lipsic, is pointing to another name, however, from one of the involved companies, Osian. Osian is an offshore company set up in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which allows shareholders a certain level of anonymity. Nevertheless, Lipsic points out how the date of birth of a Jozef B involved in the company matches that of Jozef Brhel, alleged sponsor of Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party.
Suspect Rastislav Bilas is claiming innocence as he declared that he sent all the money he had received back to Interblue Group after the scandal broke out back in 2009. Why he would do that as an ‘honest businessman’ (as he refers to himself) is not quite clear. Bilas also denies having had any dealing with Brhel over the CO2 emissions sale.