• Settling a Dispute of 2 Million Euros Between Controversial Businessmen Platon and Shor

    Settling a Dispute of 2 Million Euros Between Controversial Businessmen Platon and Shor
    by
    08 February 2021 | 18:18

    At the beginning of the year, companies affiliated with the two controversial businessmen Platon and Shor signed an alleged Settlement Agreement in a dispute of up to 2 million euros.

    Veaceslav Platon publicly threatened to appeal for the Avia Invest bankruptcy, the company that manages Chișinău International Airport and required the state to administer the airport due to a debt that Avia Invest, a company affiliated to Ilan Shor, had to the insurance company Moldasig. At the beginning of this year, the two controversial businessmen signed through intermediaries a settlement agreement, which provides to settle the dispute and pay the debt in installments until August 2022.

    Moldasig thus renounces to initiate Avia Invest’s bankruptcy proceedings which appeared as guarantor in the loan agreement signed in April 2020 by Moldasig and DFI, the company affiliated to Ilan Shor.

    Victor MOȘNEAG

    In November 2020, the controversial businessman Veaceslav Platon, released from prison in June 2020, had gained control over the Moldasig insurance company through the court. Platon publicly announced that he would request to launch bankruptcy proceedings against Avia Invest, the company that manages Chișinău International Airport, following a public-private partnership contract.

    What did Platon say in November 2020?

    Platon referred to an unpaid debt of over 1,9 million euros that Avia Invest, the company affiliated to the runaway Ilan Shor, owed to Moldasig. In addition, Platon said he would ask the state to take over the company’s administration which manages the airport.

     “As soon as I got back to the management of the company (Moldasig, ed. note), following the court’s decision, I initiated the procedure of returning this 40 million lei (over 1,9 million euros) debt of Avia Invest to Moldasig. I filed a notification to start the bankruptcy procedure so that the court should appoint an administrator and hand over the administration of Avia Invest to the state. So, in ten days we will do what the state was not able to do for half a year,” Platon declared in an interview given for the mass-media portal unimedia.info in November 2020. Platon declared that the airport must return to state ownership because it was allegedly purchased with the money from the billion-dollar bank fraud.

    The contract signed on April 2020 for a loan of over 1,9 million euros

    Veaceslav Platon referred to a loan agreement signed on April 23, 2020, by the insurance company Moldasig and DFI. The DFI was at that time a property of the company Dufremol, founded and managed by Ilona Shor, stepmother of the controversial businessman and politician Ilan Shor. On April 23, 2020, Moldasig lent to the company DFI 1,9 million euros for 30 days, and the company Avia Invest was a guarantor of the debt repayment.

    On May 23, 2020, neither DFI nor Avia Invest repaid the money to Moldasig. On December 22, 2020, after Veaceslav Platon took over Moldasig, the company signed a contract with Alfa Collect for the assignment of receivables. More precisely, Moldasig handed over to Alfa Collect a debt of over 476,000 euros, 119,000 euros as exchange rate difference, and another 4 million euros as penalties.

    January 2021: Moldasig and Avia Invest decide to collaborate in the field of insurance “on favorable terms for both parties”, and to pay the debt in installments.

    On January 11, 2021, Moldasig, as the creditor of the other party to the debt of 2 million euros, concluded a new agreement with the companies DFI and Avia Invest, as well as with the new debtor, Adrian Buruiană. According to the Compromise Agreement, the three entities undertake to pay, in installments, the remaining debt of 1,4 million euros, 514,000 euros as a percentage, and 7,000 euros as legal expenses.

    The document mentions that at the date of signing the settlement agreement, the debt of DFI, Avia Invest, and Adrian Buruiană amounted up to 2 million euros. The parties agreed that the debt is repaid, in monthly installments, of 95,000 euros each, starting with January 15, 2021, and until August 15, 2022. The document also mentions that after paying the last installment, the parties will recalculate the loan interest. The parties agreed that the lawsuit of the 2 million euros debt is terminated.

    Both businessmen Shor and Platon were convicted in the bank fraud case, but released from police custody

    Dumitru Tuliuliuc, interim administrator of Moldasig signed the agreement, while Avia Invest and DFI were represented by Boris Salov and Alexandru Filip. Public information shows that Andrian Buruiană, the new debtor in this business is the founder and administrator of Air Handling, another company affiliated with Ilan Shor, the leader of the Shor Party, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in the first instance in the billion-dollar bank fraud case. Shor left the country immediately after the Democratic Party of Moldova, led at that time by Vladimir Plahotniuc, lost power in government. The Shor Party leader is still under authorities’ search.

    Likewise, in April 2017, Veaceslav Platon was sentenced to 18 years in prison in the billion-dollar bank fraud case. Subsequently, the Supreme Court of Justice upheld the sentence. On June 15, 2020, Veaceslav Platon got free following General Prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo’s request to suspend the execution of his sentence. Later, the court admitted the request of the prosecutor’s office to review Platon’s case, and the case is currently under review at the Chișinău Court. Before releasing Platon, the Prosecutor General announced that “the case targeting Veaceslav Platon was completely falsified, and allegedly the main beneficiary of the billion-dollar bank fraud was Vlad Plahotniuc.”

    Prior to signing the so-called settlement agreement between Moldasig and the companies affiliated with Ilan Shor, the two controversial businessmen often accused each other of illegalities and implication in the bank fraud.

    Platon: “I will never have good relations with Mr. Shor.”

    ZdG contacted Veaceslav Platon for comments on this topic. He argued that the signed agreement with the Shor’s companies happened because state representatives did not present any interest.

    “After we made the announcement, accusations came from everywhere that it is a raider attack on Moldasig, and that we want to capture Avia Invest and so on. But you know, none of the state representatives contacted us, not even the politicians. Thus, we understood that no one needs this and that the statements on the necessity to return the Airport to the state are fake, aimed exclusively at receiving political credits, but, in reality, none of them cared. The state and its representatives show no interest in getting the Airport back, and we, as an organization, have no competence to manage such complicated infrastructure. We do not have the professional skills to do this. I waited, it seems to me, for a month and a half, in the meantime, I wrote letters, I tried to get in touch with the state representatives, with the representatives of the political parties who were most vocal on this issue. There were no reactions. Based on these circumstances, the company management decided to receive the money from Avia Invest and not to play these political games,” says Platon.

    ZdG journalist asked if this means that he negotiated with Ilan Shor and normalized their relationship, Platon stated that “I will never have good relations with Mr. Shor and even more so, I will never discuss with him. We can only talk in the courtroom.”

    At the same time, when asked about the collaboration between the two companies in the field of insurance, Platon stated that, given that the company was caused pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages, the management of Moldasig requested, as partial compensation, to ensure the Avia Invest property at the Moldasig company. It is a normal commercial activity,” Platon believes.

    When ZdG specified that people could interpret this agreement as a rapprochement between him and the Shor Party leader, Platon pointed out that “only stupid people will interpret it this way, and the smart ones will understand that, in the end, we gave in, and that there is no one to defend the state’s interests in this country, everyone is on his own.”

    AUTHOR MAIL eng.zdg@gmail.com

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