Actually, we shouldn’t even mention Saab before the court in Vänersborg renders its verdict on Dec 16. The court will decide whether it follows the suggestion of the court appointed administrator Guy Lofalk to lift the creditors protection on Saab. But it’s a slow newsday, and Saab is always good for a story. No, we don’t mean the €3,322,993.13 allegedly transferred by Youngman. No, we are not referring to the latest round of hamfisted censorship at Saab’s enthusiast site. We are talking about a story that is making the rounds on websites that specialize on the activities of the Russian mob. They insist that Saab’s darling Antonov “has been involved in a number of financial scams before.” The mobster tracking site Rumafia says:
“A few years ago Antonov moved almost all Snoras’ liquid assets, $400-500 million worth, to foreign accounts. He disguised the fraud under a series of loans which the bank allocated to front companies with no real asset backing.”
Hmmm. No real asset backing?
The same site also alleges that the money to buy Saab from GM came trough dubious channels under hair-raising circumstances. Let’s join the story right after Antonov’s father was gunned down in Moscow:
“Alexander Antonov who received five bullets, remained the invalid. They were not going to come back to Russia any more, therefore they asked the chairman of board of “Investbank” Maxim Skachko and his assistant Igor Dubina to transfer abroad $400 million. Money transaction was carried out under the pretext of delivery of credits to various structures and without approval of board of directors of the bank. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, $200 million from this sum went on acquisition of motorcar giant Saab. Officially firm Spykers Cars became its buyer, 30 which % of actions belong to Antonovym.”
We don’t know whether these stories are true, but they are out there. Follow the links above, or peruse Google for a healthy dose of crime stories. We only quoted the tamer stuff to keep it SFW in case you are working over the weekend.
Now for the €3.3 million. Saabsunited today proudly presents a scan of a wire transfer instruction, in which Youngman tells its bank to wire €3,322,993.13 to Swedish Automobile Coöperatief in Zeewolde, The Netherlands, via the Rabobank, SWIFT RABONL2U. The Coöperatief is the Special Purpose Vehicle that had been set up in September to put the unfinished PhoeniX platform in hock. Back when, we wrote:
“Judging from the oblique language of the press release, this whole sale and licensing business is nothing else than a security for a loan that will probably be coming from Youngman.“
“Saab Automobile AB incurred new obligations during the reorganization, in violation of the instructions given and the provisions of Chapter 2, § 15 Act on corporate restructuring.”
That’s a big no-no under Swedish law. Can’t be protected from creditors and pile on new debt. Saabsunited quickly defends the accused:
“This payment is part of a technology purchase made by Youngman Automotive Group from Saab Automobile which should help to pay salaries for the month of November. This technology purchase contract singled back in september. Of course this money is not enough to pay the complete salaries once it arrives at Saab’s accounts but it is one step on the way.”
How an innocent enthusiast website comes into possession of a wire transfer copy which usually is sent from accountant to accountant only to show that the funds are on their way remained anybody’s guess – - – until Saabsunited Chief TimR proudly wrote:
“It was sent from Martyn Shilte, CEO Spyker China to Guy Lofalk with a cc to people such as Rachel Pang and Kristian Geers at 10:30 on the 9th of december. I have seen the original e-mail with the original attachment!”
Consider TTAC in awe. We have never been on the CC: when wire transfers between international auto giants were confirmed. A superb piece of investigative reporting.
Sending the document to Guy Lofalk however was not smart. On the same day, Guy Lofalk asked the court to throw the book at Saab. With that, we’ll bid adieu from Saab until Dec. 16 (unless something interesting pops up).
PS: Advice from someone who routinely sends and receives bank wires in China: The wire instruction is worthless. You want to see the actual confirmation by the bank that the money was actually sent. As exhaustively discussed here, transferring money from China requires a certain amount of really red tape and extra documentation.
PPS: Due to the untimely passing of the page in question, we provide a link to the original document for the convenience of our readers. (Just in case the picture will be completely exorcised from SU’s computer, hat tip to Gruhm.) According to the metadata, the scan was
taken retouched on 12/10/2011 at 10:24 AM with Photoshop CS4 Macintosh. As for the original webpage, unless a reader has a copy, it’s gone. Even the Waybackmachine has given up on Saab - - last picture taken on July 15th 2011. Before, the archiving robot visited The Church Of The True Saab twice monthly. Advice from a dinosaur automotive propaganda operative: Crisis PR is a subtle art which is better left in the hands of trained professionals.
PPPS: I appears as if TTAC has picked up a good number of former (disappointed? disillusioned? shunned? banned?) Saabsunited readers. Make yourself at home.