BELGRADE Nov 30 The Serbian police launched an
investigation into business dealings of a supply arm of the
Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS)state-run power monopoly on
suspicion of fraud, the country's interior minister said on
The probe came after an internal audit revealed that some
employees had rigged tenders for electricity sales which led to
losses of around 10 million euros ($10.64 million), Branko
Kovacevic, the head of company's Supervisory Board told state
The police acted on several separate motions from the state
prosecutor, said Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.
"We have a full investigation, ... that will show whether
there were abuses and to what extent," Stefanovic told reporters
The company which employs around 30,000 people, produces
almost all of Serbia's annual consumption of 38 gigawatt-hours
of electricity, of which more than two thirds in ailing
coal-fired plants and the rest in hydro power plants.
Successive Serbian governments kept electricity prices low
for decades to avoid social discontent and have subsidised EPS
through banking guarantees.
But as part of a 1.2-billion-euro loan deal with the
International Monetary Fund, under which Serbia must make state
firms profitable, EPS was last year split into retail and
The past two years EPS posted losses after 2014 floods
damaged its coal-production facilities. It returned to profit in
the first nine months of 2016.
(1 euro = 122.8592 Serbian dinars)
($1 = 0.9396 euros)
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Louise Heavens)