Collusion at Liberty Ostrava?

17.06.2024 - EB

When owner Sanjeev Gupta of Liberty Ostrava visited Prague in April, the police probably missed their last chance to question or arrest him. Why would they do that? After months of stringing employees and creditors along, Liberty filed for bankruptcy last week and announced that it doesn't have money for wages. As we noted in the Friday Edition in April, the unions had warned when Gupta took over the company in 2018 that he wasn't a credible partner and was too closely connected to the seller, ArcelorMittal. That company still owns half of Tameh Czech, Liberty's energy supplier and also the largest creditor. The logical question the police should be asking is if Gupta of Liberty and Lakshmi Mittal of ArcelorMittal colluded against the Czechs to "tunnel" Liberty, which is the word Labor Min. Marian Jurečka used in Jan. to describe what has been going on since 2018. It's time for the authorities to start looking at this as potentially more than just a typical industrial bankruptcy.

Glossary of difficult words

collusion - secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others;

to string someone along - to mislead someone deliberately over a length of time, esp. about one's intentions;

to tunnel - to strip assets.

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