Former MP suspected of embezzling EU funds18.06.2012, 09:15
Last week the prosecutor declared former MP Anti Tammeoks, only recently member of the supervisory board of Enterprise Estonia and MP, a suspect in a scheme involving European Union money earmarked for a waste handler, writes Äripäev.
Tammeoks, a former Res Publica MP, was until June 14 a member of the Enterprise Estonia supervisory board.
The fraud charge stems from alleged conduct before he took the post at the organization, which channels European Union structural funds to grant recipients.
The actual fraud was allegedly perpetrated by a board member of OÜ Nelitäht, Mario Sootna.
Sootna and OÜ Nelitäht are suspected of filing false information to receive grant money from Enterprise Estonia and the Environmental Investments Center for waste processing equipment. It misrepresented the cost of the equipment, said the prosecutor's office.
The Enterprise Estonia money - just under 500,000 euros - was disbursed, while the environmental foundation application, for about twice that amount, was approved but payment was still pending.
Tammeoks is also the manufacturing and logistics director of a non-profit responsible for waste recovery, MTÜ Eesti Pakendiringlus.
The secretary general of IRL, into which Res Publica was merged, said Tammeoks put in a request to leave the party on June 15. IRL, a national conservative party that seeks to cultivate a wholesome image, was recently hit by charges of criminals in its ranks, albeit common felons recruited from Ida-Viru County.
Mario Sootna has political connections himself, being the former deputy chairman of the now-defunct People's Union.
On Friday, Tammeoks visited one of Estonia’s best-known law firms Raidla Lejins & Norcous for consultations.
Agu Remmelg, business manager of Ragn-Sells, one of Estonia’s largest waste collection companies, says that Tammeoks had his tentacles in political and business circles.
“After he left the parliament he billt up a whole business empire around Eesti Pakendiringlus that was growing much faster than other waste handling companies,” says Remmelg.
He adds that Tammeoks and his business partner Aivo Kangus make no secret that they are able to influence the lawmaking process in the environmental protection sphere at the same time when the association that unites most large waste handling companies is not even been consulted when environmental laws are being amended.