Police investigating fraud at Adria Airways


The Slovenian police have launched investigations into suspected abuse of office and fraud at the country’s former flag carrier Adria Airways, which declared bankruptcy on September 30, 2019 following three years of management by the German turnaround fund 4K Invest. In particular, law enforcement agencies are looking into allegations of malpractice and the disappearance of some 5.000 US dollars from the company’s safe in the immediate aftermath of its collapse. Pre-trial proceedings are currently taking place. Adria’s bankruptcy administrator, Janez Pustatičnik, told the “Delo” daily that auditors will begin a review of past operations at the company this month, however, there are currently no specific suspicions of misconduct.

Companies affiliated with 4K Invest, including Adria Airways’ former owner AA International Aviation Holding, have entered into liquidation following the collapse of the national carrier last year. The closure of these companies makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to carry out an investigation and obtain necessary documentation. It is believed the fund funnelled money from Adria Airways and inked a number of highly damaging consultancy agreements on behalf of the Slovenian carrier with other companies in its ownership. 4K Invest has vanished from the business registries in a number of countries following Adria’s demise. Its website has been shut down and its phone numbers disconnected.

The turnaround fund has companies registered in Germany, Malta, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. The Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure previously noted, “Minister [for Infrastructure] Alenka Bratušek repeatedly warned that the airline’s sale to the German capital fund was a mistake and that the then government of Slovenia should have found a strategic partner within the aviation industry that would have ensured the long-term existence and development of the carrier”. The Slovenian Prime Minister, Marjan Šarec, branded 4K Invest as “crooks”. 4K’s questionable business moves involving Adria included the sale of its brand name, as well as absorbing the STBE company in December 2018, resulting in Stefan Beulertz, who was the head of STBE, becoming Adria's part owner. Mr Beulertz, a lawyer based in Malta who is close to 4K Invest, was implicated in the Paradise Papers, which exposed the rogue offshore finance industry. Mr Pustatičnik believes Adria’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings will take four years to complete due to litigations, numerous recoveries and other procedures expected to be launched in Slovenia and abroad.




Comments

  1. Anonymous09:03

    LOL, good luck finding a single Euro or any of these crooks willing to come to Slovenia in order to face justice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous09:29

    Leave them alone there is nothing wrong or God forbid criminal in bancrupting an airline! Airlines go bust on a monthly basis its just a normal characteristic of such uncertain business like managing an airline. Air Italy went bust recently yet no one asks for criminal investigation and just look who was behind them. No one ever was found guilty for bancrupting an airline both state owned or private full stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are not being investigated for being incompetent. They are being investigated for being corrupt!
      Here you go:
      "It is believed the fund funneled money from Adria Airways and inked a number of highly damaging consultancy agreements on behalf of the Slovenian carrier with other companies in its ownership."

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:14

      @Anonymous16 February 2020 at 09:29:

      Sarcasm? Sure hope so.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous09:59

    5.000 EUR missing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:00

      Dollars, sorry

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:01

      From the safe. Who knows how much is missing from the accounts.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:09

      It all looks very dodgy.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous10:03

    And to think there were some people here defending 4k just a few months ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:06

      Definition of con artists.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:23

      Doesn't seem the public cares.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous10:04

    The political responsibility of selling Adria to these idiots should also be investigated. Who chose 4K Invest over two other bidders and why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:05

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:14

      Did anyone do any screening of this company before they sold Adria??

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:15

      Obviously not

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:15

      there is evidence of 4K ties with Slovenian government at the time. That's why any investigation into 4K in Slovenia will never see an epilogue.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:24

      What other bidders?
      There was no serious bidder for Adria.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:25

      There was intro aviation and Binter Canarias.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:09

      It is just unbelievable that Slovenia sold JP to them without proper research. Anyone involved in the sales deserves jail time.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:32

      Agree. No due diligence done. Shame.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous17:09

      @anon 10:25. yes, at the non-binding stage. when binding offers were asked only 4K was left.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous19:02

      @ 10.14 Nope

      Delete
  6. Anonymous10:04

    I really never saw a bigger bunch of incompetent people than this 4K. Selling brand name, trying to scam Sukhoi, insisting that everything is ok in the company, publishing winter timetable and announcing new routes literally days before the company went bankrupt…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:11

      I wouldn't call it incompetence, I'm pretty sure this is what they've planned.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous10:06

    Such a shame Adria was sold to them. Maybe things would have been different had it not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:11

      And if Adria wasn't sold to them, they would have gone bust 3 years ago.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous10:07

    A good warning to the governments of Croatia and Montenegro. Be careful who you choose for your partners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:12

      The Montenegrin government was very close to selling YM to these conmen.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous10:13

    What's sad is that none of them will get arrested for their deeds.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous10:44

    All 4K managers should be named and shamed for their destruction of Adria.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous11:08

    4K was a fraud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:46

      I think it is more than obvious that they used Adria simply to extort money.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous11:10

    How many companies or affiliated companies does 4k have?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous11:13

    The 4K octopus
    https://i.imgur.com/3b4gMkl.png

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:18

      The path of corruption.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous11:19

    Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous11:23

    Fantastic result of a privatization process. Congratulations to all sides involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:34

      4K made a minimum risk investment in Adria and got maximum return!

      Delete
  16. Anonymous11:26

    What happened to the Estonian CEO in the end?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:33

      He is on the advisory board of this company.
      https://naadvisory.com/consultants/sven-kukemelk/

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:34

      Although I don't think he had much to do with the corruption at Adria. He joined the company quite late.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous07:01

      I agree. I think they brought him in at the end since they realised they needed someone who understood airlines to sort their problems. When it came to dodgy accounting, it seems they already had that expertise without him.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous11:33

    This is sad. Shame on you 4K Invest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:35

      Adria became a farce from the first day 4K took over. There is no one else to blame but the Slovenian government.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous23:05

      Adria was a farce well before 4K took over, just not in public.

      Delete
  18. Ouch, what an unpleasant situation. Who would've thought that this company will go belly down thanks to a wannabe company like 4K? They were so lost during the company's management and surely stole so much.
    According to their LinkedIn profile, they are "specialists" in various fields but not aviation!

    https://www.linkedin.com/company/4k-invest

    That said, JP's story reminds me of LZ (former Balkan Bulgarian Airlines), which was sold to Gad Zeevi - an Israeli business man for 150 thousand dollars! Thanks to him, he managed to destory the company that used to fly to SIN, JFK, HRE, JNB. But of course, that was sadly due to the financial crisis that faced the country in 1997.

    https://www.themarker.com/misc/1.56502

    Anyway, hoping that Slovene aviation recovers this year and the terminal opening goes well next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:54

      I hope for some sort of revival for Adria.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:16

      So how many Bulgarians today fly to SIN, JFK, HRE and JNB?

      Delete
    3. Almost none. Those destinations were purely transfer.
      Yugoslavia and the region used to offer very good prices to African students in the 70-80s to Moscow and GDR.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous19:02

      @15.54 what would be the point?

      Delete
    5. Anonymous23:04

      So what's the point of having a loss-making (or on artificial support from government) national airline, just to have large number of transfer passengers?

      Delete
  19. Anonymous15:38

    JP was going down bankruptcy lane much before 4K came into the picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:17

      +1

      But people keep blaming 4K...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:12

      Business was not good before 4K but you never heard about mass cancelations, delayed flights, mergerd flights etc etc.

      JP was doing similar to every airline in region.

      So yes, instead of steping forward to successful business, JP made complete oposite.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous21:32

      +1 last anon

      Delete
    4. Anonymous23:02

      "JP was doing similar to every airline in region."

      In other terms, being on the verge of bankruptcy. Sell of JP only extended the inevitable.

      With hindsight, the government should have liquidated the company in a more progressive and less painful manner for everybody involved - passengers, creditors and employees, instead of selling it and let everybody else do the bloody work for them.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:06

      So actually you believe that all airlines in region should simply bankrupt?

      I totally agree with govrnment of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro when they decided to help financially survive their state owned airlines.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:20

      So pumping tens of millions of EUR year after year after year until the end of time is the solution?

      If government would be serious about saving Adria, they would need to find somebody with unlimited mandate. First, they'd need to decide what is profitable and what Slovenia as a country needs. Then, get rid of everything except that core business - people (especially back office), aircraft, contracts with suppliers, etc.

      But with people's mindset that they can do whatever they want and the government will foot the bill regardless, those airlines will never be at least a positive zero.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous21:28

      At some point I can agree with you but still if you cancel one unprofitable route that can have effect on route which is profitable.

      At least there should be competent people at right positions and not one which are placed by politicians.

      And it was not tens of millions each year. Before 4k it was "only" few millions per year which of course could be much better.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous15:38

    Hope charges are laid.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous15:45

    I read a report in the media about the financial mismanagement at Adria by 4K and the tricks they used to show a more positive balance sheet. The things they did were crazy. Selling and buying the brand name, offshore accounts, creating and bankrupting companies etc. Really murky business.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous21:40

    I don't get why Slovenian authorities have been so hesitant in investigating 4k until now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous21:41

      See above comments.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous21:42

    The whole story was bound to end this way.

    ReplyDelete

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