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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Orlen. Hundreds of thousands of zlotys for flights on private planes. Politicians' comments

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These amounts make a huge impression – said Żaneta Cwalina-Śliwowska, MP from Poland 2050, in an interview with TVN24 reporter Radomir Wit, referring to the expenses spent on flights of Orlen's management on private planes. Earlier, Borys Budka told the media that in 2022 alone, the Orlen management board spent over half a million euros for this purpose.

In an interview with Polsat News on Monday, he said that the information received from the company was “devastating”. He added that in 2022 alone, the Orlen management board was to spend over half a million euros on private plane flights.

The politician added that in November last year, after the elections, “a group of people from Orlen flew to the USA to watch Formula 1. Nearly PLN 400,000 was paid for it. The best hotels, the most expensive restaurants. This shows that they treated the Polish champion, a listed company, just like a private farm.

“The amounts are very impressive”

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In a conversation with TVN24 reporter Radomir Wit, Poland 2050 MP Żaneta Cwalina-Śliwowska said that “these amounts make a huge impression.” – As a person involved in sports, I know how much could be done with this money. There is nothing wrong with state-owned companies sponsoring Polish sports, but a plane flight or a trip to this race for such an amount is shocking. This money could be better spent, she said.

According to the MP, “it shows a certain Byzantium.” – A state-owned company, owned by all citizens, was treated by Obajtek as something private that he could manage in any way. He simply behaved like an oligarch, she said.

Orlen's expenses on private plane flights. Politicians' commentsTVN24

– We had our Obajtek in the State Forests in Pomerania, i.e. Daniel Obajtek's brother – said Jacek Karnowski, former president of Sopot and currently a member of parliament of the Civic Coalition. He added that “the manner of action of these people who, on the one hand, spent public money and, on the other hand, harmed the Polish economy and Polish forests is enormous.”

– To be honest, flying to Formula 1 to probably promote Polish fuel is probably a bit of an exaggeration – he added.

Orlen company in trouble

Last week, former member of Orlen's management board, Michał Róg, estimated that the cause of problems with oil contracts for Orlen Trading Switzerland was the change of the company's management board in February 2024. In his opinion, Orlen was aware of the financial and business risk associated with it, and the new OTS management could expose the company to losses.

Orlen's press office reported on Thursday that Orlen Trading Switzerland, a subsidiary of the Orlen group, paid approximately PLN 1.6 billion in advances without the use of collateral, which went to entities with which Orlen had never cooperated before.

According to the information provided, since May 2023, Orlen Trading Switzerland, a subsidiary of the Orlen Group, has paid approximately PLN 1.6 billion in advances to crude oil trading intermediaries. Most deliveries were to be completed by the end of 2023, and the remaining deliveries by the end of January 2024.

“These companies have not fulfilled their obligations nor, when asked to return advance payments, have they failed to settle accounts with Orlen Trading Switzerland. Since the beginning of March 2024, the new authorities of Orlen Trading Switzerland have been trying to enforce the contract provisions or recover advance payments. This turned out to be impossible due to the repeal of intermediaries from these obligations,” Orlen's press office wrote in a statement.

Agnieszka Adamska-Okońska, spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor's Office in Bydgoszcz, announced last week that the prosecutor's office had brought charges against a man with the initials SA, who in 2008-2013 operated in a criminal group dealing in fictitious trade in invoices and tax fraud. According to the findings of Radio Zet, AS is the former president of Orlen Trading Switzerlnd, who was wanted on an arrest warrant. He was detained at the end of February when he came to Poland at the invitation of the headquarters.

At the beginning of March, Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced at a press conference that the activities of the OTS company from the Orlen Group may expose Poland to serious problems.

Orlen Trading Switzerland (OTS) is a trading company belonging to the Orlen group, founded in August 2022. As stated on its website, it trades in petroleum products, supplying products both from the group's five refineries and from global suppliers.

Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell/PAP

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