Prague, Aug 3 (CTK) – Robert Slachta, former head of the Czech police organised crime squad (UOOZ), received an official offer of the post of the Customs Administration deputy general director from the Finance Ministry yesterday, the ministry told CTK, confirming daily Pravo’s report.
Slachta might take up the post as of October 1.
He will make up his mind on whether to accept the offer by Monday, he told Czech Television (CT) later yesterday.
Slachta, 45, left the police on July 1 over his disagreement with a police reform prepared by their command and providing for the merger of the UOOZ and the other national elite unit, the anti-corruption squad (UOKFK).
The reform, which Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) signed in spite of the protests from Finance Minister Andrej Babis and his ANO movement, came into force on August 1.
Deputy Finance Minister Alena Schillerova, who made the offer to Slachta, according to Pravo, said on Monday that cooperation with him would evidently be a contribution now that the Customs Administration’s powers in criminal investigation have been extended.
On Monday, the Customs Administration new general director Milan Poulicek said his priority is to build a new team and prepare the body for applying its new powers concerning gambling and VAT.
Slachta said the job offer addressed to him is the only one he has received from the state and that he will make up his mind by Monday.
Slachta dismissed the opinion that the offer has been made to him by Babis as finance minister.
“It is no offer from Babis, it has been made to me by the customs authority, by its general director [Poulicek] and, of course, by the deputy minister [Schillerova],” Slachta said.
The previous head of the Customs Administration, Petr Kaspar, resigned in late June, followed by several other members of the Customs Administration management, including three deputy directors.
Tenders have been put up to fill the vacancies, Poulicek said.
In the past weeks, partners’ dispute over the police reform caused a rift in the government coalition, with some state attorneys and the ANO movement, including Babis and Justice Minister Robert Pelikan, being opposed to it.
The critics called the reform unprepared, counterproductive and aimed to eliminate Slachta as a respected independent investigator.