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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

What was Minister Židan doing with the Arab businessmen in 2013? More than two million euros were then transferred to Dubai!

We have further analyzed the publicly available information we have commented on in a previous article titled “Han’s companies have transferred over 2 million euros to Dubai accounts of a company in liquidation!” in which we revealed the role of SD’s MP Matjaž Han in the Radeče papir Nova, Ltd. company (hereinafter referred to as RPN), and his helpers, the mayor who is also a member of the SD party and director of the company Tomaž Režun, Member of the Board Leopold Povše, Member of the Board and entrepreneur Mateja Kajzba, Financial advisor and supervisor in Abanka Alenka Težak, who have in the years between 2016 and 2018, as indicated by the publicly released data (AJPES balance sheets) and the findings of a court expert in economics and taxes Gabrijela Petek, transferred over 2 million euros to the accounts of the Emkaan Investments L.L.C. in Dubai. The most likely conclusion to our analysis is that Han’s network of companies has operated flawlessly in the conditions of the left-wing governments and that the pursued interests and effects of their actions lead to spheres of SD’s interest (led by the former Minister of Agriculture and former Speaker of the National Assembly Dejan Židan).

Many questions were raised, in relation to our previous article, wondering whether the fictitious remittances also help fund the bodies of the SD party, as this is clearly a well-organized international activity with clear signs of possible criminal activity. Let us remind you that at a time (December 2013) when the Arabs were buying equipment from the bankrupt Radeče papir, Ltd. company for 5.1 million euros, the then-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Dejan Židan also met with the representatives from the Dubai investment fund. The purpose of the meeting was to “inform Židan about the business intentions of the investment fund in Slovenia” and to inform him about the potential areas of business which could have been of interest to the United Arab Emirates. At the meeting, the representatives of the fund informed Židan of the plans they had at Radeče papir company, where they planned to launch the production as early as February 2014, at first with half capacity, and by the end of 2014, with full production and 100 employees, who were by then mostly registered at the Employment Service of Slovenia. The Arabs informed the Minister of Agriculture, Židan, that they generally view Slovenia as an interesting business environment and introduced themselves as stable and long-term investors. At the meeting, Minister Židan presented Slovenia as a place of great potential for investments and, consequently, new jobs in the forestry sector, along the entire forest – wood chain of supply, including the Radeče papir company.

What is unusual about this, is that the prominent member (then and now) of the Social Democrats’ party met with the investors in the industrial sector, which has no formal connection with the Ministry, Forestry and Food; especially as such matters fell into the jurisdiction of his colleagues – other Ministers of the then-government.
It is undisputed, however, that his colleagues and members of the SD party, through fictitious invoices and remittances to the Dubai company being liquidated, harmer the Republic of Slovenia’s budget by making covert payments of profit instead of disclosing the corporate income tax base of the RPN, Ltd. company. This is what the tax expert, whose opinion we have already presented in our previous article, believes.

As pointed out in previous articles, it is clear from publicly available data, that RPN is also the owner of 100 percent of the company Muflon, Ltd. for the disabled. It is clear from the publicly available information that Muflon is the recipient of state aid and that it maintains claims from RPN, Ltd. They, however, transfer the received liquid assets to Dubai through fictitious accounts. This means that they are re-drawing budgetary resources through the companies Muflon and RPN, Ltd., and then transfer them to offshore companies in liquidation.

SD party has a lot of debt
We have already written about the employment company for the disabled Muflon – since the disabled are socially deprived persons, the state will cover the costs of the contributions for the disabled employees. But we have learned from reliable sources and Ajpes that the employees of the company are not just people with disabilities, but most of the workers and the entire management of Radeče papir Nova Ltd., which means that Radeče papir Nova, Ltd. saves tens of thousands of euros per month by breaking the official law, and all that on the shoulders of the taxpayers. Former Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Anja Kopač Mrak, another prominent member of the SD party and a former secretary in the former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec’s office, is the one that made sure they can now do this without having to hide it. Kopač Mrak has then, and still falls under Židan’s patronage, who should start to tackle the high indebtedness of the party, whose debts keep on growing exponentially, from one election to the next.

M&M International Ltd., the family-run company of the richest MP who comes from the SD party, Matjaž Han, is run by his wife Ljudmila Han. The company has a good business relationship with the largest state-owned company Petrol and the Radeče papir nova, a company, which is run by Radeče mayor Tomaž Režun and Leopold Povše – both members of the SD – and which is facing numerous allegations of irregularities and breaches of the law. In 2018, Han’s company signed as much as 275 thousand euros worth of contracts with Petrol, which represents almost half of the revenue for the company, owned by the MP of the Social Democrats. In addition to Petrol, his wealth was also accumulated through lucrative contracts with Pivovarna Laško, on which we have previously already reported. It is also clear from the audit report and based on other media coverage that M&M International also works with the municipality of Radeče, and others. What is also interesting is the role of a loyal member of the SD party, Režun, the current mayor of the Radeče municipality, who is also the director of RPN, Ltd. in his spare time, and who is the successor of Matjaž Han in the mayoral role. Given the fact that RPN, Ltd. also works with companies of the richest MP, Han, and puts him in a privileged position, it seems clear that with such controversial business moves, Režun is trying to prove that Han is sort of a “mentor” to him since he has had a much longer political career, compared to the current mayor.

2 million euros to offshore Dubai
The fact that there is a very dynamic, “give-and-take” political trade going on among the employees of Han’s network of companies, is also evident from the owner’s report of Matej Drašček, which clearly shows that the SD member became the director of the RPN, Ltd. at a time when the party was lobbying for the position of the deputy governor to go to Alenka Vrhovnik Težak, who was ultimately not able to get to the desired position. Thus, Režun killed two birds with one stone, since he was given the opportunity to recruit “his voters” through all the economic and business criteria, as the director of the RPN, Ltd. company.

The extent of the SD party members as staffers in state-owned enterprises clearly proves, that the Social Democrats also often provide jobs for their wider family. Matjaž Han’s example, in particular, confirms this thesis, as he has deployed a number of staff members that are close to him, to help him maximize his earnings. His connection with the Radeče papir Nova and the municipality of Radeče through his family business is obvious, so it is not surprising that he works well with the aforementioned businessmen. Alenka Vrhovnik Težak has, however, denied the allegations that she is in any way connected to the Han clan.

We have already notified the Office for Money Laundering Prevention of the fact that Han’s network of companies has already transferred more than 2 million euros to the accounts in Dubai. We also asked them to comment on the matter.

With the appointment of Alenka Vrhovnik Težak to the Supervisory Board of Abanka, Han’s network of companies has apparently successfully set up a source of credit or smooth provision of working capital for its business ventures. When NKBM took over Abanka, Vrhovnik Težak stepped down as a supervisor. We leave the possibility of speculation about what it would be like if Han’s network of companies was able to successfully “install” Alenka Vrhovnik Težak to the position of Deputy Governor of the Bank of Slovenia, who, as a regulator, is also responsible for the prevention of money laundering, to the readers. It seems that as a financial advisor to RPN, Ltd. from behind the scenes (in the official documents and annual reports of the RPN, Ltd., her name does not appear anywhere!) and a person with special confidential status and access to the non-executive director of owners Usman Shaikh (who has already left Dubai and now lives in the USA), she kept quiet on controversial issues of the RPN, Ltd. management practices (which she is also a part of, informally!), or has kept her view as an expert, who was constantly on the payroll of the companies In the RPN, Ltd. group, opportunistically focused on other matters.

Hana Murn


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