Skip to main content
European Union flag
The independent public prosecution office of the EU
Report a crime

Slovakia: Six arrested, including two public officials, for €3.2 million subsidy fraud

Published on

(Luxembourg, 21 July 2023) – An investigation into a €3.2 million subsidy fraud involving a brewery, conducted by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Bratislava (Slovakia), has led to the arrest of six people, including two public officials. The six suspects were detained on 19 July 2023, and were released after questioning.

Under investigation is a company that applied for EU funding to reconstruct a brewery and introduce innovative production processes for cider and beer. For these purposes, the managers of the brewery signed an agreement with the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency for a non-repayable financial contribution of €7.8 million, up to 45% of which was co-financed by the EU.

The managers of the company launched a call for tender on 11 October 2017, to implement the project. However, according to the evidence, the procurement procedure was rigged, so that the contract would be awarded to a company that had been previously selected.

It is believed that the managers of the brewery created a network of companies under their control, to issue invoices to certify their financial contribution to the project. It is also alleged that, in 2018, they obtained a bank loan of around €2 million – which has not been repaid, to date – by misleading the financial institution, as the loan applicant did not meet the conditions to obtain credit; facts that could constitute the crime of credit fraud.

The suspects are the owner of the brewery and the brewery’s executive manager, as well as its accountant, and the manager of the company that won the bid. Two public officials from the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency are also being investigated for not carrying out their duties correctly. In addition, three legal entities are under investigation.

All above-mentioned individuals and entities have been charged with procurement and public auction fraud, credit fraud and money laundering. As a result of these crimes, the EU budget suffered a damage of €3.2 million. The managers of the brewery also tried to obtain an additional EU funding contribution of €214 000.

The investigation counted on the support of Slovakia’s National Crime Agency (Národná kriminálna agentúra).

All persons concerned are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in the competent Slovak courts of law.

The EPPO is the independent public prosecution office of the European Union. Itis responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgment crimes against the financial interests of the EU.