Anti-corruption police see charges soar in 2011

Police probing high-profile corruption, financial crime saw number of charged individuals rise sharply amid soaring damages from crime

The Czech police unit tasked with uncovering corruption and financial crime (ÚOKFK) said it charged a record number of persons last year on a high ongoing caseload and soaring financial damages caused in the cases being investigated.

The number of charged individuals reached a three-year high of 781, after 697 in 2010 and 688 in 2009.

The number of ongoing cases in 2011 reached 594, compared with 602 in 2010 and 537 in 2009. Cases closed during the year with charges pressed rose to 112, from 92 in 2010 and 74 in 2009. Shelved cases without action fell to 118 last year against 137 a year earlier and 162 in 2009.

Corruption cases being worked on totaled 118 in 2011, against 86 in 2010 and 61 in 2009 with the number of individuals proceeded against in these cases rising to 159 in 2011 from 94 in the previous year and 62 in 2009.

The biggest number of cases started in 2011 involved tax avoidance (56), abuse of official position (44), fraud (42), laundering of assets (34), paying bribes (28), and taking bribes (23).

Total estimated damages from criminal cases probed during 2011 reached Kč 78.7 billion of which Kč  18.6 billion were losses to the Czech taxman. This compared with a total of Kč 46 billion in 2010, of which Kč 19.1 had an impact on national tax receipts.

Some of the biggest cases dealt with in 2011 were the suspicious deal covering the Prague City Hall Opencard combined services card, manipulation of tenders at the Ministry of Defense, the arrest of two judges at Litoměřice District Court on suspicion of corruption, the suspicious contract for Prague public transport tickets involving Czech printing company Neograph and Virgin Islands registered firm Cokeville Assets, and corrupt tenders staged at  the Moravian towns of Znojmo  and Přerov.


The police force said priorities for this year are corruption in public tenders, especially in construction and road/highways building, tax losses from excise and value added tax, use of EU funds, seeking out illegal earnings, and speeding up criminal proceedings.