The prosecutor in Brussels has opened an investigation into potential malpractice at Eurostation and Euro Immo Star, 2 SNCB subsidiaries accused following audits by Ernst&Young, he announced on Monday. Last June 20th, the board of directors of the railway company opted to hand in the auditors’ reports to the police. The audits were meant to analyse compliance with governance provisions and good management within real estate subsidiaries and were commissioned by the relevant minister, Jacqueline Galant.
Amongst the anomalies found at Eurostation et d’Euro Immo Star, were the attribution of untendered contracts without market consultation; cases of “obvious conflict of interest” between the hiring of an employee in one of the subsidiaries and the activities of the same employee in other companies; poor management and unorthodox use of company assets; third-party expenses paid for by the subsidiaries; as well as expense accounts or invoices approved by unauthorised persons.
Other abnormalities qualified as “extreme” in view of the obvious rules of sound financial management were noted at both subsidiaries, such as “surprisingly high expenses” refunded to employees. These expenses concerned restaurants, drinks, and credit card payments.
The SNCB board of directors decided to pass on these reports to the prosecutor on June 20th. He in turn opened an investigation on June 26th, although an investigating judge has yet to be named.