quarta-feira, 22 de junho de 2016

Cobalt board member's shady past comes to light

The Swiss Attorney General's Office has confirmed it has three indictments pending against Urs Meisterhans, a member of the board of start-up carrier Cobalt (CO, Larnaca).

The Cyprus Business Mail says indictments for “aggravated money laundering, securities fraud and negligence in financial operations,” would date back to May last year and stem from Meisterhans' alleged dealings at Sinitus AG, a Swiss financial services company.

Basing its case on US court cases against the Swiss national, the AGO alleges Meisterhans, who was the founder and principal of Sinitus AG, colluded with his ex-wife and a German national to defraud US-based investment management firm Absolute Capital Management of more than USD200 million from at least September 2004 to September 2007.

Meisterhans has denied the reports stating categorically that he has never been indicted in any country.

For its part, the Cypriot Ministry of Transport, whose various departments are responsible for vetting and ensuring compliance with local and EU laws, has said it was unaware of any criminal proceedings pending against any Cobalt board members at the time it issued its Air Transport Services License. Given the report and its evidence, investigations have now been launched.

The Cypriot Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) has the power to revoke an airline's license should any one of its board members or executive leadership be found to have committed illegal acts or have acted unprofessionally. As such, the ATLA has said it may ask for Meisterhans' removal from Cobalt's board. 
ch aviation
Photo:Pedro Filipe  - LPPT

Though technically operational, Cobalt will only begin regular, scheduled passenger services to Europe later next month.

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