The national lottery of Slovakia, TIPOS, has confirmed its General Manager, Marek Kanka, has been charged by the National Crime Agency (NAKA) under its ‘Operation Cart’.
As reported by the Slovak publication NewsNow, TIPOS has confirmed Kanka was charged and interrogated by the police on Thursday, alongside 24 other individuals and six legal entities.
However, Kanka has filed a complaint against the charges, citing a failure to understand them.
According to aktuality.sk, the charges relate to an unauthorised VAT refund of €335,000, stemming from Kanka’s company Oliva Group and its purchase of fuel from an Austrian firm worth €1.6m.
In such cross-border transactions, the purchase takes place without VAT, but the first Slovakian companies are required to subsequently post the tax and transfer it to the state budget when selling to domestic companies, something Oliva Group failed to do.
As a result of the tax reduction, the group was able to sell fuel within the chain at a price lower than VAT.
Kanka is no longer the manager of Oliva Group, but the case dates back to 2017, when some of the investigated contracts were personally signed by Kanka.
“I trust law enforcement bodies,” Finance Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) said in response to the charges against Kanka.
TIPOS belongs under Matovic’s ministry.
“It still holds true what we promised the people before the election that we must all be equal before the law,” he added.
On Thursday, the Government Office also sent its statement on the charges against Kanka.
“Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) doesn’t interfere in the work of law enforcement bodies and will wait for the result of the investigation and then present his opinion,” said Spokesperson Lubica Janikova.
“As Kanka isn’t subordinate to the Prime Minister, the premier can’t act against him.”