Monday, September 14, 2009

Head of Polish state insurer detained-official

The head of Poland's state social insurance body ZUS was detained on Tuesday with four other people on suspicion of corruption, prosecutors said.

"All five are suspected of corruption. We now have to interrogate them and present charges within 48 hours," said Malgorzata Wojciechowicz, spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office in the northern Polish city of Szczecin.

A ZUS spokeswoman confirmed Sylwester Rypinski's detention but declined to comment on the matter.

The social security agency is responsible for gathering fees as well as paying out state pensions, medical and other social benefits in the country of 38 million. Last year, ZUS took care of medical insurance for nearly 15 million people.

ZUS receives around 20 billion zlotys ($7.03 billion) in state budget subsidies every year.
Sylwester Rypinski has been heading ZUS since November 2007.

In a related story, Polskie Radio reports that Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland, said he decided to dismiss Rypinski from the post. Rypinski and four other state insurer officials are to be presented with charges within 48 hours.