Tallinn nightclub in trouble

  • 1999-08-05
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - For three year's one of Estonia's biggest nightclubs, Dekoltee, has been selling discotheque tickets as theater ones, paying no value added tax. Now, as the tax department demands 6.5 million kroons ($436,000) VAT and a 3.5 million kroon fine for delay, Dekoltee may disappear from the Tallinn's nightclub scene.

The tax department started bankruptcy proceedings against the owner of the nightclub, Noxtun, on June 22 in order to stop any possible transactions with the company's assets. The tax department finds that the company is permanently insolvent. The first court hearing will take place on Aug. 30.

Noxtun belongs to Tal-linna Maailma Kaubanduse Keskus (69 percent) and IS Music Group, almost half of which belongs to Uhispank and the rest to Lauri Laubre and Stanislav Rubintski. According to BNS, Uhispank will not lose its investments in case of bankruptcy, because loans to the company are guaranteed with a mortgage in Uhispank's favor.

Noxtun lately replaced Lauri Laubre with a new chairman of the board, which came as a surprise to Laubre. Laubre complained that the new management is planning to sell the company to businessman Urmas Past. According to Koit Luus, spokesman for the tax department, the change of ownership of the company is not a problem as long as assets are not moved away.

Noxtun has been selling nightclub tickets as theater tickets for three years now and Laubre is amazed, that the question of its legality rose so late.

Luus says that if a thief robs a shop five times and is not punished and is then caught on the sixth time, it does not mean that he would be left unpunished that time again. Luus said that the tax department does not have enough time to audit all the companies annually.

The IS Music Group used the same VAT trick when selling tickets for its other big nightclub in Haapsalu, Africa, from 1996 to 1997. The tax department is presently analyzing the documents of the Parnu nightclub Sunset Club.

According to Aripaev, Laubre, a major figure in the Estonian entertainment business, is planning a huge music event and construction of two new entertainment centers in Tallinn.

Meigo Pruudel, spokesman at IS Music Group, claims that the company continues its daily work as a concert organizer and if they were in financial trouble they would not have been able to organize these major events at all.