Although the purchase of new ferry boats is central to a corruption investigation, the company itself says the deals signed were advantageous to the Port of Tallinn.
The former heads of the state-owned company saw a tender to buy four new ferry boats, ahead of the company taking over domestic ferry routes in September 2016, fail, and began talks with ship builders directly.
The final decision was to buy two boats from Poland and two from Turkey.
Temporary board member Carri Ginter, who was appointed to review old contracts, said the price paid for the ferries, which are under construction, was not particularly high. “According to the first assessment, we have not purchased the ferries at too high a cost; on the contrary, the boats were cheap. If cash moved around, that means we could have gotten them at an even better price,” he said.
Besides Ginter and an internal investigation, an outside auditing service has also been ordered. It will focus on whether contracts signed by the two former board members, both currently under arrest, were good for the company. That audit could last between 3-5 months.
Contracts with around 10 companies, belonging to two or three larger groups, will have to be closely reexamined.
Ain Kaljurand and Allan Kiil, the two board members, were arrested last week, accused of receiving, aiding and giving bribes, as well as money laundering at the company since 2009. Although no official figure for the bribes has been released, media reports suggest that Kiil earned close to four million euros and Kaljurand about a tenth of that.
Editor: J.M. Laats