World News – UA – Phone jack reveals manager ‘covered up’ company that failed to properly clean trains during pandemic


A public transport official was surprised by a phone call telling a cleaning company that he would « cover » for them, after he appeared they had failed to water a train from Melbourne at the start of the state’s first wave of coronavirus

The admission is contained in a phone call secretly recorded during public hearings before Victoria’s Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC), which is investigating allegations of serious misconduct in the public transport sector of the ‘State

During the call, Metro Trains Fleet Manager Peter Bollas, who yesterday confessed to taking up to $ 150,000 in corrupt cash, told the manager of a cleaning company: « I am not against you, i am f ** * ing for you « 

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

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

He was sacked today by V / Line after being suspended in August Transclean’s contract with the network was also terminated

Contracts were increased in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with the cleaning company receiving an additional $ 3million per month to ramp up efforts

But during a phone call lasting about 20 minutes on April 16, Transclean boss George Haritos complained to Mr. Bollas that a train had arrived late and was not sprayed

M Haritos: « The trains are late… but who’s paying for it? It’s killing me… I haven’t budgeted for that »

M Haritos: « I understand the point Peter but… you have to cover us too »

M Bollas: « Are you taking the fucking piss from me? I have to cover up, what do you think I fuck everyday, George? »

Today, when questioned by assistant lawyer Peter Lawrie, Mr. Bollas admitted that on one occasion the cleaners did not spray the car at all, while Transclean said it had

IBAC Commissioner Robert Redlich QC today asked the fleet manager if he has any doubts about his conduct

« Didn’t you have any concerns M Bollas… that you gave notice to the cleaner to put his house back in order… to see that COVID requirements were met, ”Mr. Redlich

« I can’t blame Metro for what I did, » he said, when asked about the culture within the company

Today, M Lawrie stressed that once it became clear that some trains were not being properly sanitized during the height of the pandemic, officials took immediate action to respond

« I think it should be understood that the information was handled in an immediate and timely manner to bring these concerns to the attention of the competent authority, so that any health issue is immediately addressed, » said M Lawrie

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

V / Line, James Pinder, Metro Trains Melbourne, Independent Commission Against Large-Scale Corruption

Global News – AU – Phone jack reveals official ‘cover up’ a company that failed to properly clean trains during the pandemic


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