Austrian Woodworking Giant Continues To Operate In Russia - Media

(MENAFN- UkrinForm) Austria's woodworking giant KronoSpan, which has an extensive offshore network and the ultimate beneficiaries of which are not clearly known, continues to work in Russia and Belarus despite Russia's war on Ukraine.

That's according to profil , Ukrinform reports.

KronoSpan“continues to work in Russia and Belarus even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine,' the article reads.

It is noted that at least before September 2021, a number of Russian and Belarusian companies that are part of KronoSpan were merged into a Cyprus-based Kronospan Holdings East Ltd. At the same time, in August 2022, this holding was apparently transferred to a new group of owners. 'Earlier, the only shareholder was Betuva Foundation, now it is a Vaduz-based Causing Holding AG, which was founded before this by a Liechtenstein-based Stiftung Causa foundation,' the article reads.

Read also: austria not to train ukrainian military on leopard 2 tanks - media

At the same time, Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International, which continues to operate in Russia, at the end of 2021 provided Kronospan a credit line of EUR 315 million for investment in Russia.

The journalistic investigation states that the Kronospan Group manages the network of offshore firms. 'You can even say that they not only manage it but also consist of it. Kronospan have no official headquarters in which the group leader would truly be a leader. Instead, it is a decentralized corporate conglomerate: national companies that manage relevant factories, merged into intermediate holding companies. At the end of the chain, it seems that many things are leading to Liechtenstein – to the three funds called Luda, Betuva, Und Gerhorst,” the article reas.

It is noted that the intermediate holding company in Cyprus does not even indicate its direct shareholders in the public register, 'not to mention the actual beneficial owners at the end of the ownership chain.' The structure of KronoSpan is“so difficult to see' that a few years ago, Austria's Financial Market Agency was looking into the company's operations.

It was, in particular, about Raiffeisen Bank International's relations with Kronospan. About EUR 66 million was transferred through the bank from January 2015 to April 2016. According to FMA, RBI has seriously violated its duty to find out who really stands behind Kronospan and who its beneficiaries are. At that time, FMA even fined Raiffeisen Bank International for EUR 2.748 million 'because of the majority of legal provisions to prevent money laundering and terrorism.' However, the case has not yet been closed as RBI has yet to challenge the judgment.

Read also: ukraine– austria memoranda on energy and environmental protection signed

Separately, the article also states that Raiffeisen has a long-standing business relationship with Kronospan. In particular, in 2014, RBI sold its own subsidiary on Malta for more than EUR 100 million to one of Kronospan's Cypriot companies. The Malta Bank now works under the name ECCM Bank Plc, 'and recently some issues arose regarding the fight against money laundering.'

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the U.S.
Treasury had started checking Raiffeisen Bank International's Russia-related business.

Photo: Profil



Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.