19:22 / 18.06.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

City employee under formal investigation for allegedly taking bribes

Anti-corruption investigators arrest four suspects in city services corruption probe

Anti-corruption investigators arrest four suspects in city services corruption probe

Foto: Patrik Macek / PIXSELL

The head of a department at one of Zagreb’s city services companies is under formal investigation for taking bribes from contractors.

Following the arrest on Thursday of four people in a corruption probe in Zagreb that has ties to the city's public building maintenance company GSKG, anti-corruption investigators have initiated a formal investigation against the head of the company's Emergency Services Department, Neven Blažević. He is suspected of taking bribes from three construction firm owners, Davor Režek, Mario Jurinić and Slaviša Veljković, in exchange for giving their firms jobs over the past year and a half. Police said the arrests were part of a several-months-long probe.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said that if the suspects are found guilty of the alleged crimes, it would be the worst kind of profiteering. Most of the heavy construction done on public buildings in the 18 months was related to damage that was caused by the March 2020 earthquake in the capital.

"Let this serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can make money illegally from the post-earthquake reconstruction process in Zagreb or elsewhere," Tomašević said.

The head of the National Reconstruction Fund, Damir Vanđelić, thanked investigators and said he also hoped their work would have a pre-emptive effect. Croatia suffered two major earthquakes in 2020, one in Zagreb in March and another in Petrinja in December. The Fund was set up to facilitate reconstruction in both areas.

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