An organised group of crooks was blackmailing farmers who wanted to buy agricultural land. For withdrawing from tenders they demanded tens of thousands of zloty.The Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) has detained the first suspects. It appeals to farmers, who were victims of the blackmailers, to report to the CBA. The blackmailers worked all over Poland.
How did it work? During agricultural land property tenders – organised by the Agricultural Property Agency – the swindlers paid the deposits. Then they artificially raised the land value. From a farmer who was most interested in buying said land the blackmailers demanded money in exchange for withdrawing from further bidding.
The initial findings of the CBA indicate that the group has been running its business since at least half a year ago, and the victims were mostly farmers who previously leased the land offered in a tender or those who cared for the development of their farm. The case is in development and further arrests and charges should not be ruled out – the Bureau informs.
The CBA adds that “the operation was conducted throughout the country” and “financial demands of the perpetrators may have even reached one-off amounts of tens of thousands zloty.”
Victims who were very keen on buying land, misled by fraudsters, paid the money – explains one of the agents working on the case.
The CBA branch in Poznań was the first to find the trail of the gang of blackmailers. Agents arrested Krzysztof Z. and Ryszard R. last week, they are suspected to have requested 20,000 zł from a farmer, who took part in a tender on 40ha of land in one of the villages in Wielkopolska. The District Prosecutor’s Office in Konin has charged both men with fraud.
As a result of the search of the detained men’s homes, CBA officers revealed several thousand pages of tender listings for the sale or lease of real estate, and hundreds of deposit payment receipts for tenders and debt collectors auctions of immovable and movable property, eg. cars – informs the CBA.
Agents are investigating whether the fraudsters did not act to the detriment of the Treasury, making proper conduct of tenders more difficult or impossible. But the most important in this case are the blackmailed farmers.
We ask farmers and other persons wronged by this or other similar criminal groups to report to the Delegation of the CBA in Poznań. Every case is important to us and will help in putting an end to this practice in the future – appeals the CBA.