Ljubljana – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted house searches Tuesday as it investigates a suspected EUR 30m case of corporate fraud. The case revolves around the sale of retailer Engrotuš’s brands in 2016, the company confirmed.
The NBI said it was investigating abuse of position or trust in a business activity involving the sale of stakes in multiple companies and failure to repay loans. Three individuals are among the suspects and face up to eight years in prison.
Broadcaster POP TV and the news portal Necenzurirano report that the investigation focuses on the sale of brands that then Engrotuš owner Mirko Tuš and his wife, Tanja Tuš, transferred to their Hong Kong company in 2016, when it became clear that the retailer would get new owners.
The move could theoretically prohibit the new owner of the retail chain from using the Tuš brand, or they would be forced to pay high fees for the use thereof. A criminal complaint to that effect was made in 2017 by Engrotuš’s creditors.
Since then Engrotuš has received new owners in a debt-to-equity conversion and is now in majority ownership of financial funds, which bought claims to the group from banks.
Engrotuš confirmed in a press release that an investigation was under way, but said that Mirko and Tanja Tuš had already “transferred all Tuš brands to Engrotuš unconditionally, gratuitously and for an indefinite period.”