STA, 4 June 2020 - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is conducting house searches in the Kranj and Ljubljana areas over suspicion of abuse of office or rights in business, with the news portal 24ur reporting that these are related to the bankruptcy of the air carrier Adria Airways.
The website of the commercial broadcaster POP TV noted on Thursday that, as Adria Airways was about to go bust in late 2019, there were suspicions of wrongdoings and lack of transparency in the company's management and operations.
It was reported by the newspaper Delo in February that the police were investigating suspicion of abuse of office and business fraud, adding that some 5,000 US dollars had also gone missing from the company's safe.
According to 24ur, official Adria Airways receiver Janez Pustatičnik has confirmed that the house searches are being carried out at the company's headquarters.
The General Police Administration told the STA today that NBI investigators were visiting residential, commercial and other premises in the areas of Kranj and Ljubljana in the ownership of one legal entity and two individuals.
Two house searches are still under way and one has been concluded. Pre-trial investigation is being conducted against two foreign individuals.
Already in March, Pustatičnik hired an audit firm to analyse the company's documentation looking for evidence of potential misdeeds by the company's previous owners and management.
He said at the time that focus would be on collecting evidence of potential liability of the former management and detecting "avoidable actions" that may have resulted in asset stripping.
The spotlight will be on the German turnaround fund 4K Invest, which bought the company from the state in 2016 and oversaw a series of business decisions that led to the company's bankruptcy.
According to 24ur, the suspicious dealings include transactions to tax havens worth millions of euros, and conducting business through Malta.
An investigative portal has reported, however, that the group of companies around 4K Invest has been liquidated, with all traces of their transactions, many to tax havens, erased from the public domain.
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