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Searches conducted by Lithuania's Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) at the National Paying Agency (NPA) were part of a probe into projects administered by Saulius Silickas, a former head of the agency in charge of allocating EU and national agricultural aid funds, Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas said on Friday.
National Paying Agency
National Paying Agency
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The minister said that Erikas Berontas, the current director of the NPA, had assured him that the FCIS was probing the agency over old projects administered under Silickas, who headed the NPA between 2005 and June 2013.

"(Berontas has assured me) that these projects are old and that with him at the helm, all these projects were halted because irregularities were established," he said.

FCIS Director Kęstutis Jucevičius told BNS that the service would provide no further comment on the investigation, but confirmed that Silickas was involved in the probe.

The minister said that he could not say what projects were being probed by the FCIS.

FCIS spokeswoman Ruta Andriuskaite confirmed to BNS that searches had been carried out, but declined to give any more details.

NPA spokeswoman Aistė Mileikaitė told BNS that the probe concerned several projects which had been granted aid between 2010 and 2012.

The agency between 2014 and 2016 performed a review and risk assessments of these projects, turned to the Competition Council and applied certain sanctions, such as termination of agreements and aid recoveries.

Silickas in 2013 was found guilty of abuse of office and sentenced to a year and a half's imprisonment.

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