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OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
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BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
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OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
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Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
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OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
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OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
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OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
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OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
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OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
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OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
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TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
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OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
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OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
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COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
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The Agency for the Recovery of Criminal Assets (ARBI) and the prosecutors of the National Anticorruption Centre (CNA) have seized assets worth MDL670mn (€34.5mn) of airline Air Moldova, including automobiles, real estate properties and two aircraft, CNA said on October 3.
CNA said that the actions were carried out as part of a money laundering case involving large amounts of money during the privatisation of Air Moldova. A series of fictitious transactions led to the privatisation of the airline concerned, it said. Seizing the assets of the company aims to avoid risks of alienating the assets of the company.
ARBI is an autonomous subdivision of the CNA dealing with financial investigations, the seizure, the evaluation, the administration and the sale of the criminal assets, as well as the negotiation of the repatriation of the criminal assets.
The activity of the airline is not affected by the actions, CNA stressed.
Air Moldova, which was privatised last year to a consortium including two Moldovan individuals (25.5% each) and Romanian airline Blue Air (49%), denies any wrongdoing and claims to be the victim of a campaign aimed at pushing the company into bankruptcy.
Civil Aviation Group, made up of Blue Air and Moldovan citizens Andrei Yanovich and Sergey Melnik, bought Air Moldova for MDL1.2bn last October. However, out of the total value of the deal, only MDL50mn was paid for the shares and the rest of the money is the debt owed by Air Moldova to third parties. The payment was reportedly made in cash as opposed to by a bank transfer.
Prosecutors previously seized MDL300mn (€15mn) of the company’s equity in an attempt to prevent the transfer of the shares to another owner.
In a press release issued after its MDL300mn capital was seized, Air Moldova complained that the government had failed to increase its capital by MDL150mn as pledged under the privatisation contract. The seizure furthermore prevents the investment plans envisaged by the private owners from going ahead, the company also stated.
According to Igor Munteanu, the chairman of the ad-hoc parliamentary committee for the analysis of the organisation and conduct of the privatisation and concession of public property (2013-2019), Air Moldova has not paid back its debts to creditors. Munteanu said recently, quoted by Mold Street daily, that financial documents show that "until July 31, 2019, the amount of debt [owed by Air Moldova] has not undergone any major changes, and the new owners have not brought any funds from their own resources or as long-term financing".
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