Prosecutor Publishes List of Companies from Emissions Scam
The Special Prosecutor’s Office has surprised everyone by publishing the list of individuals and companies entwined in the EUR 47 million scandal involving the sale of Slovakia’s emission quotas back in 2008 to garage-based company Interblue Group, SME daily has just reported.
The list, provided by Swiss authorities as part of an international investigation, has been at the centre of friction between the government and the opposition for the past few weeks, with interior minister Robert Kalinak withholding the list and Prime Minister Robert Fico even claiming he hadn’t even seen it. The scam took place under the first government led by Robert Fico.
A special parliamentary session on the affair convened by the opposition parties lasted just a few minutes today, as the standalone government exercised its parliamentary majority by rejecting the session agenda.
The move led opposition parties to threaten a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister, but that intention may now have changed with the publication of the list. As expected, the list points to companies with ties to people from the Slovak National Party (SNS), led by Jan Slota at the time, as it had its finger on the whole deal via the Ministry of Environment.
The list shows the companies that did business with Interblue Group, which had its registered office in a garage in the USA and which as mediator cashed in the EUR 47 million difference in the buying and selling prices of the country’s emissions. The list has been published by SME daily here.
- In 2008 Slovakia sold 15 million tonnes of CO2 emissions to Interblue Group at the price of EUR 5.05 per metric ton, which was well under the price that neighbouring countries received for their emissions.
- Interblue then sold on the quotas to Japanese companies at EUR 8 per tonne, meaning the intermiedary company Interblue Group made millions of euro on the deal
- The contract included a clause that Interblue Group would reimburse EUR 1 per ton if proceeds from the sale were spent on environmental projects in Slovakia, but to date nothing has been received.
- The company was then wound up, passing its rights to Swiss-based Interblue Group Europe.
- The transaction has been under investigation in Slovakia, Switzerland and the USA.