Metro Trains executive Peter Bollas admits accepting corrupt payments

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A public transport executive has been caught on a phone tap telling a cleaning company he would “cover up” for them, after it emerged they had failed to spray down a Melbourne train at the start of the state’s first coronavirus surge.

The admission is contained within a secretly recorded phone call played in public hearings before Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), which is probing serious misconduct claims in the state’s public transport sector.

In the call, Metro Trains fleet manager Peter Bollas, who on Wednesday confessed he had taken up to $150,000 in corrupt cash payments, told the director of a cleaning company: “I’m not against you, I’m f***ing for you.”

At the time of the alleged corruption, Mr Bollas managed the cleaning contract at Metro Trains, which was awarded to a company called Transclean.

As part of that contract, Mr Bollas and then V/Line chief executive James Pinder collected multiple cash payments of up to $10,000 from the boss of the cleaning company.

The payments continued for about four years.

Executives both sacked

Mr Pinder denies any wrongdoing, and claims the men were in a secret gambling syndicate.

He was today sacked by V/Line after being suspended in August.

Transclean’s contract with the network has also been terminated. Late Thursday, Metro Trains CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said he had sacked Mr Bollas, who had been stood down since August.

Mr O’Flaherty also said he was appointing an independent auditor to review Metro Trains’ procurement and probity processes.

“Metro has zero tolerance for any behaviours or actions that compromise our commitment to safety and integrity across our organisation,” he said in a statement.

Source: ABC News

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