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Roma railroad scrap ring busted

Featured Roma railroad scrap ring busted

A large scandal has come to light at the Hellenic Railways Organizaton (OSE) involving at least 8 employees and 100,000 euros in kickbackst.

In particular, officials are accused of directly awarding competitions - with corresponding bribes - selling OSE scrap to three Roma networks, which were under common management. So far eight Agency officials and 11 Roma have been arrested in connection to the case.

How the ring worked

The Roma groups gave kickbacks to OSE officials to have inside information about the scrap metal and waste material (eg rails) cutting off from competition other prospective bidders interested in participating. In particular, the Roma groups found the members of the committees handling the items that were being auctioned, gave them a bribe and won bids in the auctions.

Indeed, as investigation shows, officials, members of the committees, either gave them more scrap or less, in order to pocket the difference.

An OSE manager was also involved In the ring who facilitated the transfer of objects from OSE warehouses. It is indicative that among the items taken by the Roma there were also materials hazardous for public health, which had to be transferred from one warehouse to another, based on a planned procedure. In the end, however, they ended up in the hands of the Roma with the help of the director of the OSE, who gave them the necessary documents. Only 300 tonnes of metal objects were found in a warehouse in Thessaloniki.

The bets of 15,000 and 25,000 euros

The transactions between employees of OSE and Roma groups, it seems, begun in 2015. The investigation, in fact, revealed that three employees of OSE had taken everywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 euros in bribes, while overall the 8 had received 100,000 euros.

After the transactions were completed, Roma money was sent to Bulgarian banks. From there, the OSE employees were also paid. Indeed, during the investigations of the Financial Police in the homes of the employees involved in the cring, packets of banknotes were found sealed with tapes from  Bulgarian banks.