11 April 2019
Four persons were charged in a corruption case of $ 9 million dating back to 2005, concerning French energy and transport giant Alstom, the Central Chief Prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday in a statement.
The prosecutor’s office interviewed six suspects. The prosecutor dropped charges in the case of two people. The four persons included two Hungarians, an Austrian and an American. According to the indictment, a manager of the French company Alstom has bribed one or more unknown persons in order to influence the outcome of the tender procedure launched by BKV (Budapest transport company) in June 2005 for the acquisition of the new trains of M2 and M4 metro lines, said the statement. The bribes were paid through Danish and Austrian companies, which signed three contracts of fictitious consultancy agreements.
The prosecutor’s office said that the investigation in this case had started in September 2016, following a probe by the European anti-fraud agency OLAF, undertaken in 2012, and completed in 2016. Xinhua net reported.
The UK Serious Fraud Office charged another individual as part of the ongoing investigation into Alstom. Terence Stuart Watson, the Alstom Country President for the UK and Managing Director of Alstom Transport UK and Ireland, was charged with corruption relating to the supply of trains to the Budapest Metro. The FCPA blog reported.
Russian built 40-year-old metro cars were servicing the M3 line (picture). These cars were subject to frequent breakdowns. M3 line got some cars refurbished by the Russian manufactures. The results were disastrous. There were constant problems with the refurbished trains. The Metro refused to accept any more cars refurbished by Russians and demanded more than 800 million forints by way of penalty for non-performance by the Russian suppliers. M2 Line has been already replaced with brand new Alstom cars. The new M4 line also uses Alstom-built cars, and therefore it would have made sense to purchase the 222 metro cars for the M3 line from Alstom as well. Therefore, there was no need for Alstom to pay a bribe to win the contract.
Another investigation is under way concerning metro 4 project, involving alleged mismanagement related to construction and consultancy contracts and project management. The investigation was ordered in January 2017. Alstom is not involved in this investigation. Daily news Hungary reported.