CZ/SK verze

Strange payables and bonds of the Rail Invest Group of the Šuška‘s brothers. The clues lead to Switzerland

Strange payables and bonds of the Rail Invest Group of the Šuška‘s brothers. The clues lead to Switzerland
photo: in Louny and Switzerland
30 / 11 / 2020

The business of the Ostrava group Rail Invest, which includes, among others, Ostravské opravny a strojírny (OOS) or Traťová strojní společnost, is accompanied by a number of strangenesses. We managed to find out that this group has debts in the amount of almost 6 billion crowns, while thesedebts have lasted for almost 10 years. Could the creation of the bonds not have been an operation to make fictitious debts that would allow the transfer of funds to Switzerland, where the owners of the group, the Šuška’s brothers, live?

Rail Invest is the focal point of the entire engineering group of the Šuška’s brothers. This company was founded on 2 December 2007 by lawyers Karel Ležatka and Vít Rybář, however, they did not deliver the notarial record to the register court until one year after the company was founded, on 18 December 2008. Such a delay in the formal establishment of the company is at least very non-standard. However, the Rail Invest Group is accompanied also by other oddities.

The financial statements for years 2011 to 2016 were not included in the Registry Court until July and August 2017. A publication with such a delay raises doubts about the reliability of the reported data.

The list of shareholders was not published until December 2012, when the minutes of the General Meeting showed that the company's shares were held equally by the Šuška’s brothers and not by the above-mentioned lawyers. What is also interesting it that the company itself does not carry out any business activities, all its income is only from interest, the company shows zero sales.

In 2018, the company reported shares in controlled entities in the amount of CZK 8.2 billion, which represented the company's total assets. Cash on the company's accounts was reported in the amount of 2.2 million crowns. The company's registered capital was CZK 2 million, capital funds CZK 2 billion, the profit of previous years CZK 2.3 billion and the profit of the current accounting period CZK 832 thousand.

In 2018, the company reported CZK 3.9 billion in the item “Other long-term liabilities”, with the proviso that these are not bonds, as the relevant items denoting bonds are zero in the financial statements. In 2017, the same amount was reported in long-term liabilities as a trade payable. Similarly, in previous years, with the fact that in 2008 these were liabilities in the amount of 5.3 billion crowns.

It is Rail Invest that holds a 100% business share in Ostravské opravny a strojírny (OOS), while OOS is one of the companies of the Šuška´s Empire, which has been on the ČD Cargo’s black list and is therefore not allowed to participate in its tenders.

More interestingly, however, in the 2012/2013 accounting period, OOS issued bonds in the total amount of CZK 2 billion, which, according to the financial statements for the period ending March 31, 2019, were not even partially repaid yet.

The payables of Rail Invest and OOS, both of which amount to billions, have not been amortized over the years. In the case of a creditor other than the owner, it would be rational to expect legal disputes, including the filing of an insolvency petition. However, this did not happen in the case of the Rail Invest group.

This offers a possible explanation - whether these are not in fact fictitious payables created by the Šuška’s brothers, which were to be used to withdraw funds from both companies while avoiding tax liability. According to the media, both brothers have been living in Switzerland permanently for years. In the Swiss Commercial Register, we found companies whose names are practically identical to Czech companies from the Rail Invest portfolio. There are companies Rail Invest AG, based in St.Gallen, and OOS AG, based in Zurich. Of course, the publicly available records in the Swiss Commercial Register do not allow a categorical conclusion to be drawn as to whether or not the companies in question are property-related to the above-mentioned Czech companies, however, in our opinion this cannot be considered a mere coincidence.

According to the available information, the National Central Office for Organized Crime (NCOZ) should also deal with the possible distortion of data on the state of management and assets of the Rail Invest Group. It is thus obvious that an investigation of these Swiss ties should be also carried out and as part of legal aid it should be ascertained whether the Šuška’s brothers did not take property from companies in the Czech Republic out of tax proceedings through strange accounting operations and did not park it in Switzerland. We will continue to monitor the whole case.