Three leaders of Estonia's largest hospital suspected of embezzlement, bribe-taking
Chairman of the Board Tõnis Allik, IT director Marko Kilk and catering chief Anu Vahi of North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH), Estonia’s largest hospital, have been suspected of embezzlement, fraud and accepting bribes.
“I am aware that the police have presented allegations,” Toomas Vilosius, a member of the hospital’s supervisory board until June 2, told BNS. “While I was still a member of the supervisory board, the chairman of the board informed me and as far as I know the minister as well that he had been in contact with the police regarding this matter.”
"I'm aware that the police have presented [the suspicion]. When I still sat on the supervisory board the chairman of the board informed me and as far as I know the minister as well that he had been in contact with the police on this subject," Toomas Vilosius, who was a member of the PERH supervisory board until June 2, told BNS.
According to Vilosius, as no documents regarding the allegations have been forwarded to the hospital’s supervisory board, the board has not discussed the issue. “Allik informed me that he had been to the police to give statements,” he explained. “I also know that the IT director has given statements as well.” As no relevant documentation had reached the supervisory board, however, the board had yet to discuss the matter, and Vilosius could not say when the new board would take up the issue.
“We confirm that the Corruption Crimes Bureau of the Central Criminal Police has brought allegations against three high-ranking PERH employees, including the chairman of the board,” Ilmar Kahro, spokesman of the Office of the State Prosecutor, told BNS.
“The chairman of the board is suspected of embezzlement, fraud and bribe-taking, one leading employee is suspected of fraud and embezzlement, and another of accepting bribes,” added Kahro. “In addition, bribery allegations have been brought up against one person and one legal entity.”
According to the spokesman, materials involved in the criminal case have been forwarded for review by the defense, and the Office of the State Prosecutor will be ready to comment on the criminal proceedings in greater detail once charges are pressed. “The investigation was launched in 2014; it was conducted by the Corruption Crimes Bureau and led by the Office of the Prosecutor General,” he added.
According to Central Criminal Police documents, the probe established that the three employees holding leading positions in the hospital, Allik, Kilk and Vahi, had violated the law. It found that the three PERH employees submitted false data about business trips abroad to the hospital’s accounting department, and that one of the employees had accepted bribes.
With seven clinics and a staff of more than 3,800, PERH is Estonia’s largest healthcare provider.