MACEDONIA LOOKING FOR WOLFGANG GAMPER WITH AN INTERNATIONAL ARREST WARRANT, HE IS WALKING FREE IN AUSTRIA
- Apart from the international arrest warrant, Wolfgang Gamper and Nikola Gruevski have the undeclared campaign financing in common.
- In Macedonia it is forgotten that another fugitive left the country although the court hold his passport.
- With each new state tender “Securicom” increased its amounts even though the number of the employees was the same.
by: Aleksandar Todevski and Ivana Ramadanova
While in the Parliament there are wars for amnesty and the rescue of most of the accused former officials and current MPs, the case for the Austrian company “Securicom” peacefully goes through the court labyrinths, a case opened by the prosecutor’s office after having been conducted by the Financial Police.
But what is actually involved in the case of this giant, which thousands of people throughout Macedonia modestly survived from? Inbox7 investigated the rise and fall, but also all corrupt ties of the owner of the company, Wolfgang Gamper and all governments so far.
HOW DID “SECURICOM” ENTER TENDER PROCEDURES?
Gamper entered Macedonia with “Securicom” “accidentally” in 2002, just in the period when Ljubco Georgievski decided to unload the Office for General and Common Affairs (SOZP), 500 employees entering a private company in which they would have the same benefits like being under a state cap.
On March 27, 2002, the Law on Public Procurement passed by the lawmakers was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia, and on the same day it entered into force. In that period, the decision to establish the Office for General and Common Affairs (SOZP) was changed, with which amendments it should no longer employ hygienists, typists, security and persons for ongoing maintenance. With this, Gamper‘s company became indestructible, because it was the only one on the market that offered all these services. Six months later, on September 15, a ten-year agreement between the SOZP and “Securicom” was signed. That agreement lasted until 2012, when Georgievski’s political successor, Nikola Gruevski, was already at the helm of the country.
In 2011, when “Securicom” covered part of the campaign expenses, Gruevski again changed the decision to establish the SOZP, thus restoring the authority of the service to recruit staff that had already been filled in by “Securicom”. But instead of not having a new contract because the Office employed people for those jobs, in 2012, the SOZP still signed a new contract with “Securicom”.
GAMPER FREE IN AUSTRIA, MACEDONIA CHANGES THE CRIMINAL CODE
The owner of “Securicom” almost did not appear in public, although his company was pointed out as one of the many that did not work legally. However, his name echoed in public when the Financial Police announced that along with the ex-director of the Office for General and Common Affairs, Vase Donevski, they were charged with abuse of office, making a crime worth 11 million Euros. For Donevski, the court set a detention measure, and for Wolfgang Gamper only passport seizure. But the boss from Austria escaped from Macedonia even without a passport.
We managed to get in touch with Gamper via social networks, but he did not want to talk about the case. To our questions about where he was and whether he would return to Macedonia, he briefly replied that he was not guilty of what he was accused of and that he had not taken a single Euro from the previous government.
In the moments when the Parliament is seeking ways to change Article 353 of the Criminal Code, which would exonerate former officials of guilt, Gamper hopes for it as it would also change his accusation if proven by the court, as he is also accused under the same article.
The owner of “Securicom” Gamper is currently being sought by an international arrest warrant, but he does not hide that he freely walks in Austria. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) informed us that an international arrest warrant had been issued to him several days after he fled the country.
“For the person Gamper Wolfgang of father Friedrich, mother Hedwig, born on August 1, 1945 in Vienna – Austria, where he lives, on 31 August 2018, an international arrest warrant was issued. Interpol is immediately notified of the warrant. Gamper is required by order KO No.30/18 issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Skopje on suspicion of committing a crime under Article 353 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia”, says the Ministry of Interior.
We also sent questions to the Ministry of Justice, but until the publication of the text we did not receive a response if extradition was asked for him because he did not comply with the precautionary measures set by the Court and is not present at the court hearings.
“SECURICOM” OWES TO THE EMPLOYEES
Gamper’s company did not pay its employees for months and left them without health insurance. This was followed by several protests that were stopped by numerous promises of payment, but meanwhile, the Court decided to block the company’s accounts. However, two months ago, there was a contract to defreeze the accounts solely for payroll.
In September this year, when the Office for General and Common Affairs called for new tenders for cleaning, ongoing maintenance and security of state facilities, which were in one tender and by default to the only company that provided all these together – “Securicom”, an annex to the agreement was signed, as it expired on August 31.
But, as Inbox7 finds out, “Securicom” did not receive any funds from the SOZP for the work done for that month.
According to our information, the only explanation why they did not pay the company for the annex-contract was that the company did not have any license, although from there they knew that the employees came to work every day, and that the unblocked accounts in the payroll section were only for their payment.
We sent questions to “Securicom” about how much they owed to employees, but we did not receive an answer.
From the SOZP, however, after several days of silence about whether they paid the company “Securicom” for September, they told us to search for an answer submitting a written request to the office as, according to them, the questions were of a financial nature, although this answer was previously always given by the person for access to information of public character.
IT WON TENDERS BUT DID NOT PAY THE RENT
Inbox7 researched how much state money “Securicom” received in the first and last agreement with the SOZP. According to the documents we came to, it is the same number of employees, but with far greater incomes for the company.
While “Securicom” was winning state tenders, it was not paying rent to the state institutions where the employees worked, nor paid for the paper, printer and other materials that the employees used.
In 2002, the Austrian company entered the state institutions for the first time. Then, the company’s revenues were 221,509 Euros per month for all services offered, and already in 2015 for the same services with the same number of employees and the same monthly income of employees, the sum of 298,050 Euros per month was reached.
Under the agreement of 2015, 91,746 Euros per month were paid on the account of “Securicom” for hygiene. In the ten-year agreement signed in 2002, these funds were drastically smaller, i.e. 68,228 Euros per month.
The fire protection services that state institutions received from the company in 2002 cost taxpayers 57,519 Euros per month. With the 2015 agreement, this amount was 62,983 Euros per month.
In the first contract with the SOZP Gamper‘s company had claims of 50,207 Euros per month for ongoing maintenance. In 2015, these funds were collected for 12,000 Euros more, that is, 62,983 Euros per month.
Only the management fees for TT plants and typographic services were reduced. For the TT plants, from 2002 to 2012 the company received 2,024 Euros per month, and from 2015 to September 2018 it received 3,644 Euros per month.
For typographic services, the amount under the 2002 contract was 38,531 Euros per month, while with the 2015 contract, this amount was reduced to 23,030 Euros. The reason for this decline in the amounts, rather than growth, for almost all other services, is due to the drastically reduced number of typists in the institutions that were engaged by “Securicom” by September.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOLFGANG GAMPER AND NIKOLA GRUEVSKI
Wolfgang Gamper and Nikola Gruevski are not related only with the Interpol images under which it is written “international arrest warrant“. The two fugitives with taken away passports cooperated for many years, and were disclosed by their transactions and wiretapped conversations.
In “Titanic”, the biggest case of the Special Public Prosecution, deep business cooperation can be seen.
The company that paid 2,000 denars K15 last year, explaining that they suffered financial crises and that however they decided to give that “bonus”, was not so stingy when it was about Nikola Gruevski‘s election campaigns.
According to the indictment of the SJO, “Securicom”, together with several other companies, during the election campaign in 2011 paid for computer mouse pads, cup coasters, but also for services for a stage, speakers and reflectors in the total amount of 3,120,770 denars, an amount that three companies divided, thus avoiding to be registered as VMRO-DPMNE donors.
Throughout the years, the Labor Inspectorate received a number of reports about the illegal operation of “Securicom”, but nothing was done on any charges, although the employees who had been reporting, did with evidence.
Some of them decided to tell their stories to Inbox7 now, saying they have been silent so far to keep their jobs.
“The more we reported in the Labor Inspectorate, the more we received pressure from superiors. The company had not been working legally since the beginning, but later began wage delays, sometimes even for months. However, the procedure for our complaints never opened, because they were tied to the previous government”, a former boss from the interior of Macedonia told us.
According to employees’ statements, “Securicom” mostly abused were the hygienists, who cleaned for a minimum wage on several locations a day.
In July Wolfgang Gamper’s company left the building located in one of the most attractive places in the city center, the place called “Small Ring”. They are currently in a location in Kisela Voda, near “Chesma”, but the employees do not know exactly where it is, so they have nowhere to express the revolt for the unpaid salary for the completed month of work.