World News – UA – Photos and footage capture secret meetings between V / Line and cleaning company bosses


The boss of V / Line’s cleaning company withdrew thousands of dollars in cash before meeting the former managing director of the rail operator, James Pinder, at locations around Melbourne

Surveillance footage and photos revealed during an investigation Wednesday show Transclean boss George Haritos and M Pinder met in Williamstown, South Yarra and at the parking lot of the V / Line office between April and August of this year, while Transclean carried out additional clean-up work across the network during the COVID-19 pandemic

Before each meeting, Mr. Haritos withdrew between $ 8,000 and $ 12,000 in cash – on one occasion withdrawing directly from Transclean’s account – and met with Mr. Pinder for a brief exchange near their cars, a cafe or in a parking lot, the Independent Broad Anti-Corruption Commission heard

Although M Pinder told the IBAC investigation that he did not remember if he received money on every occasion, he admitted he pocketed $ 10,000 from M Haritos in August and that he may have received money, which he said was the product of a legal gambling syndicate , on other occasions too

At a meeting in July, Mr. Haritos withdrew $ 8,000 from the bank nine minutes before he received a call from M Pinder The couple then met in the lobby of the V / Line offices on Flinders Street and got off at the parking lot Soon after, M Pinder drove M Haritos out of the building in his own car

At another meeting in Williamstown on August 19, Mr. Haritos is captured counting $ 100 bills, which he puts in an envelope and places in the back seat of Mr. Pinder M Pinder sought to hide the money behind his front door when it was raided by IBAC investigators after the meeting

IBAC is investigating allegations of serious corruption within Line V / and metro trains, involving public officials colluding to receive financial benefits in return for awarding major cleaning contracts

A note former V / Line boss James Pinder wrote for Transclean boss George Haritos after he was attacked by IBAC

This is the second corruption investigation into V / Line in three years, with the current investigation revealing alleged more « serious » behavior, including the fact that Mr. Pinder received $ 320,000 from cleaning company Transclean in 2018, months after awarding the company a contract worth up to $ 40 million

This year’s meetings between Mr. Pinder and M Haritos took place as Transclean received a major boost in cleanup work during COVID-19, which the former V / Line boss reported to M Haritos as an « opportunity » to « boost your coffers » « , reveal intercepted phone conversions

When asked about his allegations that the money came from a gambling syndicate, Mr. Pinder admitted that it was possible for the money – always handed over in rounded amounts – to come directly from Transclean in some cases.

IBAC assistant lawyer Paul Lawrie said: « If you didn’t know how much you owed to be paid because of the union’s successes and at least suspected that George [Haritos] was using every now and then union money It’s time to help Transclean’s cash flow, how can you be sure that what you were getting was not part syndicate funds and part Transclean money?  »

Commissioner Robert Redlich further asked why Mr. Pinder had written a note to M Haritos offering him a ‘fake story’ about how he got $ 10,000 in cash from the boss of Transclean after the money was discovered by IBAC investigators

Surveillance photos capture former V / Line boss James Pinder (left) and Transclean boss George Haritos (right) meeting at a Williamstown cafe in AugustCredit: IBAC

« Why did you need to write him a message like this if the truth is, it was only about the payment of gambling revenues which he knew to be gambling revenues and, if asked , would he say it?  »

M Pinder said the letter was written in a panic, and he was concerned the optics of engaging with a V / Line provider in a legal gambling syndicate seemed inappropriate

In separate evidence heard during the investigation, an intercepted phone call between Mr. Pinder and Peter Bollas of Metro Trains in February captured the fleet manager advising M Pinder of his intention to cover up a serious security breach in which a Transclean worker was nearly electrocuted

M Pinder did not challenge the proposal or order an audit of the breach, the IBAC learned.Instead, he discussed other issues and informed Mr. Bollas that M Haritos wanted to hire him at Transclean

Separate texts between the two in 2018 reveal that Mr. Pinder promises M Bollas a job at V / Line with a salary over $ 200,000 « For your brother, anything is possible, always », sent Mr. Pinder

M Pinder offered the job to his close friend months after writing a response to the IBAC about how he had improved recruitment practices at V / Line following the blatant nepotism revealed by the commission during an investigation in 2017, promising that he would make him a « champion of integrity »

Commissioner Redlich suggested that Mr. Pinder was doing a simple « window dressing » and « going through the motions » to respond to the IBAC after his previous survey

M Pinder said his own wrongdoing should not reflect the hard work of the V / Line organization to improve integrity

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V / Line, James Pinder, Metro Trains Melbourne, Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission, Taxpayer, Managing Director

World News – UA – Captured Photos and Images secret meetings between V / Line bosses and cleaning company


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