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Panama Papers: Offshore company shareholders have allegedly sold a flat to former PM Victor Ponta

The shareholders of a Panamanian offshore company have allegedly sold an apartment in a residential complex in Bucharest to former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, digi24.ro informs. The offshore company was set up before 1989 by several Greeks, and the only business carried on by it in Romania was in the field of real estate. The Romanian company, behind which the Panamanian company was working, is now bankrupt.

Sthemko Holding Company INC was registered in Panama on March 30, 1989. The social capital of the company was of USD 10,000. On June 22, 2006 the offshore had established in Romania G&F Real Estate and Constructions SRL Bucharest, with a social capital of RON 1,000. The object of the activity was the real estate business.

G&F Real Estate and Constructions SRL Bucharest has bought 16 apartments in Central Park and 13 apartments in Rose Garden after taking bank loans. In March 2011, all shares are disposed to Georgios Chatzagiannis, the President of the offshore company in Panama.

In 2012, two months before being nominated prime minister, Victor Ponta bought from this company an apartment in the buildings Central Park complex. According to digi24.ro the former prime minister has not answered the journalists’ questions on the subject.

His wife, Daciana Sarbu, and his father in law, Ilie Sarbu, had already bought two apartments directly from the developer – the company Central Residential Park SA. In 2007, Daciana Sarbu has allegedly paid RON 766,000 for a 167 square meters flat.

The shareholders of the Central Residential Park company were Niro Investment SA (84.98%), controlled by businessman Dumitru Nicolae, and an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands – Running Total Group LTD (15%).

In 2014, the company G&F Real Estate becomes insolvent with debts of nearly EUR 5.2 million to Marfin Bank, Piraeus Bank, Homeowners Association and the Public Finance Authority of District 2. The Greek shareholder never showed up to the creditors meetings. So far, the liquidator was able to recover only part of the money.

The other offshore involved in the building of the Central Park complex, Running Total Group LTD, is involved in the Microsoft file. The bribes were allegedly mediated through this company, bribes for which Dumintru Nicholae was convicted to one year and six months suspended sentence. The decision is not final.

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