In cooperation with the UK law-enforcement, the Lithuanian Special Investigation Service (STT) is conducting a large-scale corruption and bribery investigation involving, among other things, a 200-million-euro project carried out by France's engineering group Alstom at the Lithuanian Power Plant in Elektrėnai and 43 million euros worth of reconstruction of the Kaunas hydro power plant, STT spokeswoman Renata Saulytė has confirmed.
Alstom
© AP / Scanpix

The STT on Wednesday carried out searches at the homes of Rymantas Juozaitis, a former CEO of Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), and Pranas Noreika, a former CEO of Lietuvos Elektrinė (Lithuanian Power Plant).

The Lithuanian law-enforcement refused to confirm or deny to BNS that suspicions had been brought against them, no detentions were made. Juozaitis gave no comment to BNS as to the suspicions, while Noreika, 89, could not be reached.

According to the STT, there are suspicions that offenses of large-scale corruption and bribery were committed during the implementation of high-value international projects at the-then Lietuvos Elektrinė and Lietuvos Energija between 2004 and 2009.

The Alstom Group several years ago was charged in the UK with corruption in Lithuania. Lietuvos Energijos Gamyba (Lithuanian Energy Production), formerly Lietuvos Elektrinė, said in 2014 that UK bodies had asked in 2013 for information on projects launched at the power plant in 2005 and involving Alstom as a contractor.

Under the Lithuanian law, statute of limitations in the crimes is 10 years since the last offense.

Alstom Power Sweden, part of Alstom Power, carried out a flue gas desulphurization project, worth around 200 million euros, at the Elektrėnai plant in 2008. Furthermore, it received a Kaunas plant reconstruction order worth 42.7 million euros in 2005.

In November of 2015, a US federal court imposed a fine of 726.5 million euros upon Alstom for bribery. This was the biggest fine imposed in the US in a foreign bribery case. Alstom admitted guilty after the authorities established that it had paid more than 75 million US dollars in bribes over the course of a decade to win 4 billion euros worth of tenders in Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. The tenders yielded the company about 300 million US dollars in profit.

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