Tallinn city government offices searched over procurement suspicions

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Tallinn Environment and Public Utilities Board office on Mündi street. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Police have searched premises used by a Tallinn city government department in relation to potential violations of public procurement rules over a road maintenance agreement from three years ago.

Personnel from the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) central criminal police conducted the search, at the Tallinn Environment and Public Utilities Board (Tallinna keskkonna- ja kommunaalamet) premises on Mündi street Wednesday.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) says the investigation concerned potential violation of the Public Procurement Act.

"So far as is known, one current employee and one former employee at the Public Utilities Board is under suspicion of having violated the Public Procurement Act in connection with an agreement from 2018," Kõlvart said Wednesday.

The city government has no further details to add and is cooperating with the police, Kõlvart added.

The PPA have confirmed to ERR that the investigation relates to potential corruption, confirming that two suspects, one of the currently still an employee of the City fo Tallinn, are in the picture in relation to a 2018 procurement program.

The procurement related to road maintenance, the spokesperson added.

Searches are to be ongoing at other locations, the PPA added, and several witnesses will be questioned.

Construction firm Merko Ehitus later said that the searches had also taken in the offices of one of its subsidiaries, Tallinna Teede AS, three of whose staff have also been interviewed as witnesses, though, Merko says, no charges or suspicions have been brought against the individuals or the company.

The proceedings are being conducted by the financial crime section of the PPA's central criminal police, directed by the prosecutor's office, as per standard practice.

This article was updated to include information about Tallinna Teede AS employees being interviewed as witnesses in connection with the same case.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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