Police have arrested six employees at Serbia’s state power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) in Kraljevo on suspicion of office abuse related to the construction of a power facility for the Dubočica 2 mini hydropower plant (HPP), EPS said in a press release.
The suspects arrested on office abuse charges concerning the Dubočica 2 mini hydropower plant have been identified as Zoran Pantelić, Grujica Davidović, Dejan Radić, Milan Vučković, Dragan Mačužić, and Saša Dimić, all holding management posts in the Kraljevo unit of EPS.
They are suspected of having unlawfully used EPS’ employees and machinery in 2016 and 2017 to build a power facility for Dubočica 2
They are suspected of having unlawfully used EPS’ employees and machinery in 2016 and 2017 to build a power facility for Dubočica 2, owned by Milan Vučković, i.e. his firm Hidroenergo Dubočica. By doing so, they caused RSD 1.96 million (less than EUR 17,000) in damage to EPS, enabling Hidroenergo Dubočica to earn an equal value of illicit gains, according to the press release.
Arrests over mini HPP Dubočica made last month
In mid-July, police arrested five employees at distribution system operator EPS Distribucija in Kraljevo on suspicion of office abuse and causing RSD 2.4 million (over EUR 20,000) in damage to EPS.
Those arrested are suspected of having illegally enabled connecting Dubočica to the distribution network, earning RSD 2.4 million in illicit gains and causing damage to EPS in the same amount, EPS said at the time.
Residents opposed to run-of-river small hydropower plants
Citizens across the Balkans have been protesting the construction of run-of-river small hydropower plants for two years now.
The local residents say that the plants’ construction would make hard lives in remote areas even harder, experts say that run-of-river SHPPs destroy ecosystems and biodiversity, and civil society organizations are going a step further, providing arguments why solar, for example, should be incentivized instead of small hydropower plants to avoid a backlash against all renewables.