Sport, und Medien, sind ein beliebtes Geldwäsche Ziel, auch um Politik zubeeinflussen. Nachdem man nie Steuern zahlte, noch irgendetwas für Sende Lizenzen in Mazedonien, wird nun der Sender entgültig geschlossen.
21 Apr 2011 / 08:44
Troubled TV station says bumper demand from the revenue office for millions of euros in back taxes will force it to declare bankruptcy.
|In early 2010 the A1 staff started live broadcasts in front of the government in protest for the frozen account | Photo by: Ognen Teofilovski|
Macedonia’s A1 TV station, which has continued operating for four months after the courts froze its bank account, says it may have to close „in two months at the latest“.
The final blow came this week from the Public Revenue Office, it says, with a demand to pay 6 million euros in alleged overdue taxes.
„If the sum is not paid in 45 days, bankruptcy procedures will be opened and a state appointed trustee will be able to close or sell the TV,“ it said.
The Revenue Office denies it gave the company only 45 days to pay the huge sum. But it said the sum of 6 million euros was realistically estimated and was „based on hard evidence“ of tax evasion.
A1 says that three daily newspapers, Vreme, Spic and Koha e Re, all part of the same media group, may also face closure as the Revenue Office is seeking another million euros from their parent company.
„If A1 closes, Macedonia will be in total information darkness and people will be able to hear only what [Prime Minister Nikola] Gruevski wants them to hear,“ A1’s editor, Mladen Cadikovski, said on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister has continued to deny he has in any way contributed to the problems that A1 faces.
Authorities on January 27 froze the bank accounts of a dozen companies registered at the address of the A1 television channel, believed to be owned by media mogul Velija Ramkovski.
The move came after Ramkovski and several of his associates were arrested in December on suspicion of having committed large-scale financial crimes.
As the controversy surrounding A1 unfolded, the opposition announced a boycott of parliament, stepping up accusations that the government was curbing freedoms, delivering poor economic results and was blocking the country’s entry into NATO and the EU.
Nine of the arrested figures, including Ramkovski, have remained in custody for over four months. Local human rights groups say they are being treated inhumanely.
The prosecution has finished its investigation into the case and has submitted charges before the court. The court is expected to schedule a hearing shortly.