Coal magnate arrested

CHARGES of insider trading have been bought against the Czech Republic’s biggest black coal mining company chairman Viktor Kolacek.

Angie Tomlinson

Mining company OKD chairman Kolacek, who is also one of the richest men in the country, was detained by police late last week for drafting disadvantageous contracts worth more than Kc1.6bn. He was questioned with former deputy chairman Jan Przybyla and standing chairman of the OKD supervisory board Petr Otava, for causing damage to OKD and CMD (Ceskomoravske doly), CTK Business News said.

The men were questioned about the circumstances surrounding the privatization of OKD in 1998, specifically the way that contracts were awarded to the diverse parts of Kolacek's industrial empire, Agence France Presse reported.

Kolacek is one of the owners of Karbon Invest, which owns more than 50% of OKD.

He is also the co-owner of coal mines in North Moravia and Central Bohemia, as well as of the West Bohemian brown-coal mine Sokolovska uhelna. Karbon Invest operates five mines producing 13 million tonnes of coal a year.

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