Nine detained over EUR 235 million fraud of Polish Railways

Poland’s Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) has detained nine individuals suspected of taking an active part in a EUR 235 million-worth fraud of the Polish State Railways (PKP).

It is assumed that the fraud was committed during a tender for the construction of the European Rail Traffic Management System/Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (ERTMS/GSM/-R), which is an element of the PKP safety system.

On Tuesday, Spokesman of the CBA Temistokles Brodowski said that the individuals were detained in the Mazowieckie, Lower Silesia and Zachodniopomorskie provinces.

Meanwhile, the National Public Prosecutor's Office reported that the detainees were connected to the Kapsch CarrierCom Sp. z o.o. and the Electromagnetic Compatibility Department (Z-21) of the Wrocław National Institute of Telecommunication (IL).

According to the National Public Prosecutor's Office, a “judicial fraud” was committed during the appeal proceedings before the National Board of Appeal related to the tender. It is assumed that Kapsch made use of unreliable opinions signed by the IL during the proceedings.

“The IL head and his deputy are among the detainees, in addition to five representatives of a company that has been soliciting [PKP] for a contract, an entrepreneur collaborating with this company and a legal consultant,” said Mr Brodowski.

The detainees are suspected of having attempted to hamper the proceedings of a tender for a public procurement, an attempt to commit over EUR 235 mln fraud to the detriment of the PKP, an attempt to act to the detriment of a competitive bidder and of having violated its permissions and duties.

The National Public Prosecutor's Office reported that the detainees will face charges of attempting to misuse of PKP funds amount to over PLN 1 bn (~EUR 235 mln). The sum is a difference between the Kapsch and another company’s offers.

The National Public Prosecutor's Office also announced that it will charge the detainees with an attempt to bring about the misuse of PLN 2.8 bn (~EUR 655 mln) to PKP. If the suspects are proven of committing the crimes, they may face up to 10 years behind bars.