The savings of thousands of people evaporated through the “Violet” pawnshop. They invested three billion

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Searching the Seznam Zpráv now reveals that the camp functioned as a kind of invite-only club, but it also played a vital role in the disappearance of hundreds of millions of crowns from the savings of thousands of people. And that under the watchful eye of the police and the Czech National Bank. In addition to politicians, it also accepted as a member the British company Glocin Limited, whose head is the repeatedly convicted Aleš Kohoutek, a former member of Krejčíř’s gang.

While other financial institutions in the Czech Republic refused to maintain Gloca’s bank accounts, this company had an account in Podnikatelská družstevní záladná, and between 2019 and 2022 money from small investors came into it, only to subsequently disappear in the network of other companies in the spring.

Seznam Zprávy described, for example, the stories of mothers on maternity leave who, because of promises of high earnings through Glocin, also took out loans and then never saw the deposited money.

Aleš Kohoutek has now decided to talk about the background of this business for the first time ever. He knows that the police are circling around the unattainable billions, and he tries to show that he has nothing to hide.

We wouldn’t be without the campfire

The founder of Glocin, Aleš Kohoutek, admits that opening an account in the camp was essential for the functioning of his business plan. “It was an incredible benefit for the Glocin project for almost any amount of money – to have peace of mind to work,” said Seznam Zprávám Kohoutek.

According to the internal system, the statements of which the reporters saw, during its existence, Glocin collected a total of 110 million euros from people – in today’s conversion, about 2.8 billion crowns.

According to Kohoutek, Glocin was able to do business precisely because of the PDZ account, without having to fear that Kampelicka would terminate his account, as happened to him before with other banks. Financial institutions have a legal obligation to prevent money laundering.

Barter

Aleš Kohoutek told Seznam Zprávám that he arranged the bank account for Glocin directly with the former chairman of the board of the Entrepreneurial Credit Union René Szonowski.

“When he found out about our ‘problems’ with bank accounts, he offered me that PDZ, which he managed at the time, could provide payment services for Glocin,” said Kohoutek.

He, in turn, provided a financial injection of around 15 million from the money of Glocin’s clients to the company Xixoio, in which Szonowski was a shareholder. It was at the last moment – before Glocin bought the so-called Xixoio tokens, the treasury was at the bottom and insolvency was imminent.

That the money for Xixoio was part of the agreement regarding financial services from the pawnshop for Glocin, Kohoutek confirmed. “If it weren’t for the purchase of XIX tokens, we would most likely have to move the entire Glocin project to another jurisdiction or terminate it altogether,” he added.

All Glocin had left from his million-dollar investment in Xixoio were the virtual tokens. At the end of 2020, the police intervened in the headquarters of Xixoio, and today the National Central Office against Organized Crime is prosecuting the members of the management for fraud – according to the accusations, they lived in luxury with the money of investors, instead of appreciating it.

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Richard Szonowski cannot be asked about the connection because he has already died. And Podnikatelská družstevní zálážná itself, through its media representative Dagmar Schejbalová, said that it would not comment on the circumstances under which it provided services to Glocin.

“The law imposes an obligation on financial institutions to maintain confidentiality regarding client information,” she wrote in response to reporters’ questions.

In the past, PDZ denied participation in money laundering or anything illegal. In 2020, however, the CNB fined it – among other things, precisely for a non-functioning control system, also in the area of ​​legalization of the proceeds of crime. The amount of the penalty? 200 thousand crowns.

Giant client

But the billionaire Glocin continued to work in Podnikatelská družstevná závodná even after that. People piled more and more deposits into his account in the camp, which then flowed away.

A company with virtual headquarters in Manchester, UK, has become an important client in PDZ, the second smallest camp in the Czech Republic with approximately 150 members. Although the account was current, Glocin kept up to three million euros on it. According to the financial statements of the time, this was almost half of all client deposits with which the credit union managed.

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Aleš Kohoutek says that he did not participate in member meetings at the credit union, but Glocin was represented directly by Hana Kosová, the current vice-president of the board of directors of Kampelička.

Kohoutek even claims that the representatives of Kampelička themselves instructed him not to withdraw money all at once and to always keep at least a million euros in his accounts – otherwise it could arouse the interest of the Financial Analysis Office (FAÚ), which detects money laundering in the Czech Republic.

The reserve did not even comment on it.

Frozen-thawed

Even the FAÚ criminal complaint from 2020 did not end Glocin’s membership in the camp. Nor did the fact that the police subsequently froze 2.6 million euros in Glocin’s account. Due to suspicion of money laundering.

Kohoutek and his associates were able to convince the investigating police officers that Glocin’s business was completely legal and that he really valued the money. The Economic Criminal Division of the Prague Police Directorate therefore postponed the case after a six-month investigation and in September 2020 gave the nod to Kampelicka to unfreeze the money.

The resolution available to reporters is four pages long. In their conclusions, the Prague crime branch goes directly against the state experts on money laundering. At the same time, she was satisfied with the paper documents that Kohoutek supplied.

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Photo: List of News

For example, in 2019 alone, money from people’s savings flowed from Glocin’s account at PDZ to an American company represented by a Slovak. The amounts are in euros.

“The documented documents clearly refuted the whistleblower’s claim that the Glocin company is only pretending to operate, is not supposed to generate any profits from which contractual interest could be paid, and uses the funds invested in the project by new clients to pay existing clients , or are transferred to the bank accounts of related companies for fictitious activity,” the police officers wrote.

Glocin himself did nothing for a long time to put the money to good use. But the police officers believed that Bit.NXT, a company based in the USA, which forwards the money, is doing so – it is mining cryptocurrency in data centers.

Slovakian Maroš Mikláš is behind Bit.NXT. Kohoutek also provided the detectives with an alleged forensic analysis prepared by a Hong Kong company controlled by another Slovak, which showed that the annual appreciation could be as much as 1,800 percent.

The split and collapse of client payouts

The detectives did not investigate the fact that practically no money from the valuation is returned to Glocin’s accounts.

Glocin thus closed the account in the pawnshop only in 2022. In the same year, Glocin’s system collapsed. According to the e-mail communication available to reporters, Kohoutek and Mikláš began to argue about clients’ money. And they stopped paying the required withdrawals.

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Today, Kohoutek categorically rules out that he wanted to defraud more than ten thousand Glocin investors. He defends himself that he really wanted to value their money. According to him, his business associate Maroš Mikláš, to whom he forwarded the money and whose task was to achieve the promised valuation, is responsible for the collapse of the project.

According to Kohoutek, Mikláš is keeping around 25 million euros today. Mikláš, on the other hand, blames Kohoutek for the diversion of money and the breakdown of cooperation. According to what the reporters mapped, additional millions of euros flowed to Switzerland, to cryptocurrencies, to real estate in the Dominican Republic or to the bankrupt Naše Finančné Družstva from Slovakia’s Stara Ľubovna.

Glocin clients have been waiting in vain for the return of their savings for the second year. And to this day, the police have not charged any of the people around Glocin with anything. Even the criminal complaint against the pawnshop itself came up empty.

And the CNB, which in its job description is supposed to supervise not only investment firms, but also the pawnshop itself, announced only a fortnight ago that due to “serious deficiencies” in the activities of the bank, it had initiated proceedings aimed at revoking the license.

Who is Aleš Kohoutek?

  • Today, the leading figure of Glocin, which offered people an appreciation of up to 20 percent per year.
  • Kohoutek has been convicted repeatedly in the past. For example, he received 7.5 years for credit fraud. He also had to go to prison for several months in 2018, when he was already leading Glocin – for tax fraud.
  • He also sat on the dock for the fact that, as a member of Radovan Krejčíř’s gang, he manipulated an official of the state-owned company Čepro into hiding from the management the invitations to court hearings, where the company was supposed to defend itself against the fictitious billion-dollar claims of Krejčíř’s companies. Only the intervention of the police saved Čepro from execution.
  • The last time he received a conditional sentence was last year due to tax cuts with damages of eight million crowns.

The article is in Czech

Tags: savings thousands people evaporated Violet pawnshop invested billion

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