Although the J&T financial group isn’t officially linked in any way to Bratislava Airport, the group has seemingly managed to get in the back door, according to a report by SME daily.
The valuable parking area in front of the airport is managed allegedly by people surrounding Vladimir Poor (who is said to be one of the main sponsor’s of Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party). The real owners, though, are two companies based in the tax havens of Cyprus and Liechtenstein.
The ties between these companies and J&T have a few knots in them, but a relationship can be found. The Lichtenstein company GIW, for instance, is headed by a certain Markus Hasler, who was in the limelight last year for his links to former Czech PM Mirek Topolanek in the so-called ‘holiday affair’. Hasler runs the company Raben Anstalt that rented out a luxurious villa in Tuscany to Topolanek, while the villa was bought by banker Ondrej Popelka, who deals with the finances of special clients of J&T Bank and is even in the Board of Directors.
The Cypriot company Epigea acquired a EUR 700 million claim from Lemikon two years ago in a case concerning Slovak lottery and betting company Tipos. As the laws of Cyprus do not disclose any information about company owners, the true owners of Epigea are not known, but the company coincidently shares the same address with several companies owned by J&T.