2021.03.04 10:43

Head of major Vilnius hospital detained in corruption probe

BNS2021.03.04 10:43

Lithuania’s anti-corruption watchdog has detained the directors of a polyclinic and a hospital in the country’s capital Vilnius, well-informed sources have told the Baltic News Service wire.

The Special Investigation Service (STT) has detained Daiva Kanopienė, director of Šeškinė Polyclinic, one of the Lithuanian capital's largest healthcare facilities, and Narimantas Markevičius, head of Vilnius City Clinical Hospital, on public procurement corruption suspicions.

Other suspects in the probe are Virginijus Domarkas, CEO of the medical equipment supplier Limeta, and Kęstutis Kutkauskas, CEO of Limeta NT and a shareholder of both companies.

Domarkas, a former Social Democratic MP, is a member of the municipal council in the western district of Kretinga.

Kutkauskas is the husband of Jelena Kutkauskienė, director of Republican Vilnius University Hospital, another major hospital in the Lithuanian capital.

Kanopienė is the wife of Social Democratic MP Vidmantas Kanopa.

Suspicions have also been brought against Erlandas Sudeikis, board chairman and shareholder of Graina, a medical equipment supplier based in Panevėžys, the country’s fifth largest city.

Based on information on the central public procurement website, Limeta and Graina have won dozens of public procurement contracts from various health institutions in the country.

STT said on Wednesday that it was conducting a large-scale pre-trial investigation into suspected corruption in public procurement procedures in various healthcare facilities across the country.

€3-million contracts under suspicion

Medical equipment suppliers are suspected of illegally winning contracts worth over 3 million euros from various Lithuanian healthcare institutions, the Special Investigation Service (STT) said on Thursday.

Evidence suggests that the suspected illegal activities lasted for more than a year, the anti-corruption body said in a press release.

A total of 35 people, including four managers of privately-owned companies and six directors of healthcare institutions, are suspected of various corruption offenses in the large-scale probe.

The investigation covers more than a hundred criminal acts and involves over ten medical institutions in different municipalities.