Eine der vielen Betrugs Geschäfte von selbst ernannten Experten, Projekt Entwicklern, Geschäftsleuten, die kaum bis 3 Zählen können und den korrupten Bankern der Hypo Alpe Adria, aber auch der Raiffeisenbank und anderer Banken im Balkan. Auslands Bestechung ist in allen EU Ländern strafbar und muss von den Staatsanwaltschaften verfolgt werden. Pariser Anti Korruptions Konvention, von allen EU Ländern ratifiziert, und Marin Schlaff ist ein Krimineller, weil seine Auslands Bestechungs bewiesen ist. Offene Kredite von 42 Millionen €, für Pläne von 2 einflussreichen Geschäftsleuten im Balkan, oder was sich halt so nennt. Nu r7 Hektar Land, wurden der Bank als Sicherheit weiter gereicht, die Hype Alpe Adria, hatte keinerlei Kenntnisse über solche Geschäfte, wie auch in Kroatien. Die Pläne für das Luft Projekt in der Bigova Bay in Montenegro, wobei es auffällt. Zwischen den ersten Plänen und einfachen Architektur Pänen liegen schon 6 Jahre, womit das Projekt bereits längst gestorben war. Die Pläne sind auch für einen kleinen Boots Hafen grundsätzlich falsch, weil kein Experte zu Rate gezogen wurde. Martin Schlaff 20 Jun 15 Failed Hypo Bank Owed €42m for Unbuilt Montenegro Resort
Vienna, Podgorica, Belgrade
|Bigova Photo by: Alexandra Siebenhofer|
Stricken Hypo Bank, nationalised under the weight of its colossal debt and mountains of risky loans, handed 42m euros of loans to an untested and opaque firm involved in a grandiose luxury tourism development in Montenegro which remains unbuilt eight years after the first tranche of money was handed over. Documents seen by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) reveal that Hypo Alpe Adria knew Austrian Billionaire Martin Schlaff and Serbian tycoon Vojin Lazarevic were linked to the scheme from the start, despite having no formal involvement with the borrower, Bigova Bay Doo. The company, based in the coastal town of Kotor near the site of the planned development, was set up in 2006, just months before it first began applying to Austria’s Hypo for 20m euros to buy 100 hectares of land on an untouched cape which cuts into the turquoise water of the Adriatic. Despite having no experience in the field, Hypo agreed to lend the money to Bigova Bay Doo in June 2007, using the land which was to be bought, Lazarevic’s family home in Kotor and promissory notes as collateral. In the face of opposition from some local residents, Bigova Bay has struggled to acquire the land needed to embark on the development, which would have included hotels, a village modelled on a historic Mediterranean city and a marina. But much of the land that has been bought by the firm was not officially registered as collateral for the loan and swathes of it were not even properly recorded as having been sold at the cadastral office. The bank – which has since been sold, nationalised, bailed out with 7bn euros of Austrian taxpayers’ money and broken up – called in auditors PwC in 2009 to assess its deteriorating finances. It uncovered dozens of risky loans including those to Bigova Bay. PwC estimated the Bigova Bay loan had just 8.5m euros of collateral putting the bank – and latterly Austrian taxpayers – at risk of losing at least 11.5m euros. It is not clear how PwC came to that exact figure, but cadastral documents seen by BIRN reveal that in 2008 just 7 out of the 100 hectares of land had been officially registered as security on the loan, although Bigova Bay may have purchased significantly more without completing the legal process. Analysis of more than 1,000 pages of real estate, banking and company accounts obtained from Montenegro, Serbia and Austria, also show that despite this earlier warning, Hypo awarded a second loan to Bigova Bay Doo for 22m euros in 2013.
|Vojin Lazarevic Photo by: Beta|
The second loan was part of a complex deal between Martin Schlaff’s firm, Robert Placzek Holding, Vojin Lazarevic’s offshore company Aralsoft Limited and Hypo. Schlaff’s Robert Placzek Holding became the official owner of the firm, taking on both the initial 20m euro and the subsequent 22m euro loans. The second could not be spent on the Bigova Bay development but, instead, had to be used to pay off three apparently unrelated Hypo loans issued to two firms owned by Lazarevic which were “at risk of defaulting” according to a statement by Hypo Bank, under the terms of the lending agreement set by Heta Asset Resolution AG, the company formed to settle the banks ‘bad debts’. As a result, the debt was transferred from the soon-to-be privatised Hypo Serbia to the Austrian-taxpayer owned Heta Asset Resolution. Bigova Bay Doo now sits on 42m euros of debt without additional funds to invest in buying the remaining 10 hectares of land needed for the development, purchases Schlaff will now fund through his own companies. Key to whether Bigova Bay Doo and Heta make a profit or loss will be the value of the land which, according to a real estate expert based in Kotor, could fetch anything between 10m and 50m euros. A spokesman for Hypo told BIRN that while the original loan was risky, the second loan was organised to “improve the …legal position” of Heta Asset Resolution AG. Rainer Hable, an MP for the small, liberal NEOS party and a member of the Austrian parliamentary committee currently holding an inquiry into the struggling lender, said it was “very likely” the issues uncovered by BIRN regarding both loans would be raised during the coming sessions. “Unsecured loans [awarded] for goat pasture seem not to be unique cases at Hypo,” he said. “The minutes of the credit hearing we obtained during the parliamentary hearings show that credits were issued that a normal bank would never have issued. Hypo was systematically pillaged while politicians were watching.” He added that Schlaff may be called to give evidence so the committee can explore why the second, 22m euro loan was issued to Bigova Bay. „Concerning the circumstances described, we must discover if after the bail-out Hypo was issuing loans without sufficient collateral,” he said. Bigova’s complex ownership Unlike the clear waters lapping Bigova’s shores, ownership and control of the firm set up to develop this stretch of coast has been murky. Export-Import Bigova Bay Doo was registered in May 2006 by little known Vienna-based businessman Predrag Lupsic at an address in Kotor, listing ‘real estate development’ as its main activity. Documents seen by BIRN reveal at the time of Bigova Bay’s loan application in 2007, Hypo knew Lazarevic was behind the scheme and that Schlaff had expressed an interest in investing in the project. Hypo also gave Bigova Bay a generous three-year grace period on all repayments, a boon which has been rolled over in successive extensions to the loan agreement, meaning that it now has until 2018 to repay it. The loan was secured against the value of the land at Bigova and promissory bank notes – which promised to pay a certain amount of money in case of default – signed by Lupsic. Unusually, given Lazarevic’s unofficial links to the firm, the collateral also included promissory notes from Lazarevic and his palatial 1,400 square metre house in the heart of Kotor’s picturesque old town.
|Palace Kotor Photo by: BIRN|
Kotor-born Lazarevic is among the richest Serb businessmen, according to Forbes, and is regularly listed as one of Serbia’s most influential figures. He is currently under investigation in Belgrade for his involvement in a series of allegedly “harmful” deals with the Serbian state electricity firm EPS, but has never been charged with an offence. He denies any wrongdoing in connection with the Serbian investigation and also declined to answer BIRN’s questions about his involvement with Bigova Bay Doo. The Lupsic family are no strangers to Lazarevic as Predrag’s father is Aleksandar Lupsic, an influential Serbian businessman who founded the Belgrade tabloid Blic. Aleksandar and Predrag have lived in Vienna for many years where Lupsic Sr. managed some of Lazarevic’s businesses based there. Lupsic declined to answer BIRN’s questions when contacted. On December 23, 2011, Lupsic sold his shares in Bigova Bay for just 1,000 euros to Aralsoft Limited, a Cypriot-based firm controlled by Lazarevic, according to official documents. Schlaff officially took control of Bigova Bay Doo in 2013, although Hypo insiders say his interest in the project was common knowledge from the outset. Official company documents show that on June 7, 2008, Moshe Russo, a board member of Schlaff’s Robert Placzek Holding, was appointed director of Bigova Bay. Montenegro’s Ministry of Tourism was also confused about Bigova Bay Doo’s ownership structure, reporting inaccurately in 2011 that Robert Placzek Holding owned “almost 100 per cent of land” on the cape. A spokesman for Robert Placzek told BIRN that it had turned down the opportunity to become a shareholder in 2008 because “the legal situation was too unclear” but that it had “secured an option to buy 50 per cent of the shares and – in exchange for that – invested a considerable amount in the project“. “This investment came entirely from our own funds and no money of Hypo Alpe Adria was used. To secure our options, we asked and were granted a seat on the executive board.” Schlaff’s career has been embroiled in controversy, including his telecoms and casino operations and close links to high-ranking Israeli politicians. Just before the initial Bigova Bay loan was issued, Schlaff had played a critical role in brokering the sale of Serbia’s biggest mobile phone operator, Mobtel, in 2006 – a complex deal in which Hypo was also an important player. This deal resulted in an Austrian fraud probe which the authorities later dropped without charging Schlaff. He was also named in two Israeli corruption investigations involving high level politicians in Tel Aviv which did not go to court. Schlaff denies any wrongdoing in connection with the above. A spokesman for the billionaire told BIRN that his intervention in Bigova Bay Doo had saved Heta from a “considerable loss”. Insufficient collateral
|Bigova Plan The land owned by Bigova Bay was to have been developed into four separate tourist resorts: MARINA VILLAGE: A tourist resort modelled on historic Mediterranean cities complete with compact settlements, narrow streets, squares, parks and a dock for 150 vessels. ZABICA RESORT: Similar to Marina Village CAPE ESTATE: An isolated resort with villas for the most exclusive clients. PARK TERRACE: Similar to Cape Estate. Only electric vehicles were to have been allowed in the entire development. Two hotels, one in MARINA VILLAGE, another in ZABICA RESORT, were also earmarked for construction.|
Bigova Bay Doo failed to register swathes of the land that
Dank seiner hervorragenden Kontakte, auch zu Palästinensern, gelang es ihm 1998 in Jericho ein Casino zu eröffnen. Das „Oasis“, gedacht für israelische Spieler, wurde aber im Verlauf der Zweiten Intifada im Jahr 2000 wieder geschlossen. Im Zuge der Genehmigungsverfahrens für die Eröffnung und geplanten zügigen Wiedereröffnung des Kasinos soll Schlaff hohe Schmiergeldzahlungen an mehrere hochrangige Politiker geleistet haben. Entscheidende Hinweise dazu lieferte der ehemalige österreichische Vizekanzler Norbert Steger (FPÖ). Er hatte vor einem französischen Gericht ausgesagt, dass Millionen Dollar einer am Oasis-Projekt beteiligten Liechtensteiner Firma dazu verwendet wurden „eine gute Atmosphäre bezüglich des Kasino“ zu schaffen. Anfang September 2010 berichtete die israelische Zeitung Haaretz, dass israelische Untersuchungen Schlaff als Urheber von Überweisungen an die Familie Scharon in der Höhe von 4,5 Millionen Dollar identifiziert haben und eine Anklage wegen Bestechung empfehlen. Auch der mit dem Fall betraute österreichische Staatsanwalt Gerhard Jarosch sieht den Verdacht der Bestechung bestätigt. Protokolle von abgehörten Schlaff-Telefonaten bestätigen, dass dieser beste Kontakte zu höchsten israelischen Kreisen, speziell zu Scharon und dem aktuellen israelischen Außenminister Avigdor Liebermann hatte. Lieberman, der zum Zeitpunkt des Kasinoprojektes das Infrastrukturministerium leitete, soll neben Scharon und dem ehemaligen israelischen Ministerpräsidenten Ehud Olmert ebenfalls Schmiergeldzahlungen in Höhe von mindestens 650.000 Dollar erhalten haben. Weiters unterstützte Schlaff mit hunderttausenden Dollars den ehemaligen Vorsitzenden der Shas-Partei, Aryeh Deri, der sich vor Gericht gegen den Vorwurf der Annahme von Schmiergeldzahlungen verteidigen musste. Deri wurde schließlich rechtskräftig verurteilt. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Schlaff