Scandal deepens around Liglass Trading company which won lucrative contract in Kyrgyzstan

Vratislav Mynář, photo: Marián Vojtek

The scandal surrounding the Czech company Liglass Trading, which this year landed a lucrative contract in Kyrgyzstan on the construction and operation of two hydro-electric plants, has taken a new twist. Initial allegations of incompetence are now dogged by suspicion of corruption.

Vratislav Mynář,  photo: Marián Vojtek
The news that it had won a multi-million dollar contract for an energy project in Kyrgyzstan quickly soured for the Liglass Trading company in July of this year as speculation emerged in the Kyrgyz and Czech media regarding its alleged unreliability.

The Kyrgyz news site pointed out that the contract with Liglass was signed against the recommendation of a number of Kyrgyz diplomats who warned that - contrary to the company’s claim - they had not been able to find any evidence that the firm had successfully completed similar projects in Slovakia, Italy or Great Britain.

Meanwhile the Czech media speculated as to why the Czech president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář had recommended the virtually unknown and to all appearances dubious company, to the Kyrgyz government.

This week the Czech server came up with a possible answer. It said Liglass Trading had donated 200,000 crowns to SPO, the small party of Citizens Rights, which financed and organized Milos Zeman’s successful election campaign in 2013.

Challenged to respond to the allegations of corruption, President Zeman, said he was not a member of SPO and was not informed about its donors.

His chancellor Mynar said that he was head of a regional branch of the SPO and had nothing to do with the party’s financing. He dismissed any connection between the donation and his support for Liglass. The party’s leader Jan Veleba, said he was not aware of the fact that the company had made a donation. According to the donation is included in the party’s annual financial report.

Although Liglass insists it won the contract in fair competition, the facts speak against it. As the ctk news agency reports, it has its seat in a run-down facility. In 2016, the firm officially employed two people, completed orders worth only 612,000 crowns and reported a loss of nearly one million crowns.