THE CASE OF THE EMBEZZLEMENT OF THE SIFSThe prosecutors want to extend the charges against Bîlteanu and Lakis

LOREDANA DUMITRAŞCU, ADINA ARDELEANU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 14 ianuarie 2015

Dragoş Bîlteanu and Najib el Lakis, at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Dragoş Bîlteanu and Najib el Lakis, at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Dragoş Bîlteanu: "The trades were done in the shareholders' interest, the decisions were made by the Board of Directors, and the papers were drafted by lawyers"

The High Court of Cassation and Justice yesterday rejected the contestations filed by businessmen Dragoş Bîlteanu and Najib el Lakis against the ruling of the Bucharest Court of Appeal to extend the measure of preventive custody, in the case in which they are being charged with embezzlement, money laundering and manipulation of the stock market, according to the Press Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

Apparently the prosecutors have added new offenses to the charges against the two businessmen, referring to the activity of IndustrialExport.

According to some sources, the prosecutor has asked the court to reject the request of the two businessmen to be tried under conditional bail, claiming that they have caused losses of over 20 million Euros, using IndustrialExport and a large number of offshore companies.

On the other hand, as was to be expected, the two businessmen have maintained they were innocent.

Najib el Lakis said that he did not try to avoid prosecution, as he willingly met with the prosecutors, when he was informed that there is a case against him.

Former SIF Banat-Crişana CEO, Dragoş Bîlteanu, told the judges that the transactions that were conducted by SIF1 were presented in twisted manner, the sources further claim. The businessman claimed that those transactions were made in the shareholders' interest, the decisions were made by the Board of Directors, and all the paperwork was drafted by lawyers. Bîlteanu also said that the prosecutors have only looked at the capital outflows, not the inflows.

The lawyer of the two, Marian Nazat, said that, according to the sources, the claim that SIF Banat-Crişana has suffered an embezzlement is not valid and that the company has not filed any kind of complaint against the two board members, because the transactions they have made have brought the company profits.

In closing, the lawyer said that the offenses are non-violent, and has asked the president of the court meeting to allow the two businessmen to be tried under conditional bail.

Bîlteanu and Lakis have been detained on December 8th, following searches conducted by the prosecutors of the DIICOT at the headquarters of SIF Banat-Crişana, SIF Muntenia and Swiss Capital.

According to their report, the prosecutors claim that Dragoş Bîlteanu and Najib el Lakis have embezzled funds from SIF1 Banat-Crişana, by acquiring "Azuga Turism", with the help of lawyers Nicolae Mergeani and Victor Prodan, and the proceeds from that deal were used to bolster their stake in SIF1, exceeding the legal holding cap (5%). The two lawyers are being investigated while under pretrial conditional release.

Investigators claimed that together with other shareholders, Dragoş Bîlteanu held over 25% of the shares of SIF1, thus controlling the company. The shares are allegedly owned through Oshia Holdings Limited (4,99%), Aris Capital SA (4,55%), Macelia Investments Limited (4,4%), Monticlifti Management Limited (2,53%), Torch Invest SA (2,51%), Smart Capital Investments (4,45%) and SIF Muntenia (2,18%).

Opinia Cititorului ( 1 )

  1. it is a pity and disappointment to see all this happening and without a final sentence for these guys. i want to send a memo to the DIICOT myself. what these guys have done is so obvious that does not take a genious to find out what they have done! the control of 25% of SIF Banat is not the only problem. it is but the main problem is how they reached 25%. well the participations in Torch, Aris and Romenergo were financed by the same SIF. In other words these worms Bilteanu and EL Lakis have used funds from SIF BAnat to buy stakes beneficialy in their name via unscrupulous transactions leading to offshore companies (of course via investments in hotel Azuga, Romenergo Bond, and other participations) and now control SIF with SIFs money. It is even worse. Then you have SIF Muntenia havign shares in SIF Banat and SIF Banat having shares in SIF Muntenia again controlled from these criminals. Of curse if you search carefully, you will find out, that there is also SIF Moldova and SIF Oltenia all having shares in each other and all of them in Banca Transilvania and the list goes on. There must be justice in this country at once. At least I hope so!

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