Prague, Jan 4 (CTK) – Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis faces a criminal complaint over his purchase of bonds of Agrofert, a giant holding in his possession, four years ago, server Echo24 has written, adding that the complainant suspects Babis of tax evasion and breach of trust, Echo24 wrote.
The police will check the bond acquisition which generates an annual profit of 90 million crowns for Babis.
Babis told CTK that the challenged procedure was in accordance with law and that he views the criminal complaint lodged against him as an expedient political step.
Echo24 writes that Babis, the billionaire chairman of the ANO movement, used a gap in law, as the bonds worth one crown, issued in 2012, were not subject to taxation.
Agrofert, a food and chemical holding, issued three billion such bonds in late 2012. Babis owns a half of them, Echo24 wrote.
“It is not legal to make one’s own business company issue bonds that bring no profit to it, with no other aim but the enrichment of the company’s owner by buying the bonds without having to pay taxes from the bond yields,” Echo24 cites from the criminal complaint that the police received on Monday and that is signed by a person with a German-sounding name.
“I resolutely dismiss the [accusation]. Everything took place in accordance with law. It was a standard procedure to ensure a resource for investments financing,” Babis told CTK.
Similarly, Agrofert insists on having acted in accordance with law.
“The main reason for issuing the bonds was to ensure financial resources in accordance with the the Agrofert group’s plan of massive investments in case it failed to ensure long-term banking resources,” Echo24 quoted Agrofert spokesman Karel Hanzelka as saying.
Hanzelka said this is a usual procedure that has been applied by many Czech companies and that is fully in accordance with law.
($1=26.017 crowns)