Plenković: We will call for entire INA management to be held to account

Photo /Vijesti/2022/30 kolovoza/VRH_3546.jpg

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has said that he will insist on calling to account all members of the INA Management Board, both Croatian and Hungarian, stressing that the ruling coalition is appalled by and condemns the scam in which the energy company has allegedly been defrauded of over HRK 1 billion.

"We are appalled, shocked and condemn in every way possible the conspiracy to commit such a criminal act in the midst of the biggest energy crisis," Plenković told reporters on Wednesday, after a meeting of the ruling coalition convened to discuss the INA scandal.

Plenković said the meeting discussed several aspects of the case.

"The key message is that Croatian state institutions, specifically government agencies, have discovered this scam. It was not discovered by the police or judicial bodies, but by the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering, a department within the Ministry of Finance," Plenković said, adding that the USKOK anti-corruption office, the police and State Attorney's Office (DORH) became involved in the second phase.

"We want the responsibility of those who committed the act to be determined, and a decision on that to be made by a court of law," he emphasised.

The crime was discovered thanks to the Finance Ministry's Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering which shows that the government is strongly committed to the fight against corruption, said Plenković.

He said that the government was extremely dissatisfied that INA's management did not notice what was happening.

"This case shows that INA's management model is bad," Plenković said and announced that he would insist on the management's accountability in this case, both its Croatian and Hungarian members, including the president of the Management Board.

He announced that talks would be launched with the Hungarian energy company MOL on changing the way INA is managed.

The PM also underscored that he has the support of the parliamentary majority and that the ruling coalition is stable and has the support for its activities and efforts to help citizens in the current crisis.

Next week, the government will unveil a set of measures to help households, public institutions, municipalities and entrepreneurs, Plenković said.

Five suspects, including an INA executive, were arrested last Saturday on suspicion of defrauding INA of more than one billion kuna by buying natural gas supplies from the company at below market prices and selling those supplies at market prices, thus making an illegal gain of at least HRK 848 million (approx. €113 million).

INA is jointly owned by the Hungarian energy group MOL and the Croatian state, with MOL being the biggest individual stakeholder.

Text: Hina