The premises belonging to Envion AG’s former CEO Matthias
Woestmann, and the law offices of Berlin lawyer Thomas van Aubel (Van Aubel
& Partner Attorneys at Law) were recently raided by Berlin police.
Envion AG offices raided by Berlin police
The surprise raid saw investigators seizing documents and hard drives. The raids were ordered by prosecutors at multiple locations “connected to an illegal scheme which led to the collapse of the Swiss cryptocurrency mining company.”
For some time, state prosecutors had been investigating Van
Aubel and Woestmann. The investigations came after the pair’s illegal “takeover
and subsequent cover-up caused a scandal in the blockchain world.”
Woestmann and Van Aubel could end up facing criminal charges
and possible jail time.
How Envion AG went belly up
Envion started off on a good note when a Berlin team wanted
to move the energy-intensive crypto-mining to areas that offered “cheap and
green energy with mobile containers.” The company subsequently raised $ 100
million from 37,000 investors.
This achievement was hailed as a German record-breaking ICO (initial coin offering) in 2018. However, not long afterwards, the founders and management split up.
The company was never started and investors lost money as their investment continued to lose value. Woestmann and his adviser, Van Aubel, were held responsible for the mess.
Who is to blame for the company failing
The pair was blamed for “a covert majority takeover without
prior arrangement which paralyzed the company.” In turn, the former CEO and
lawyer accused the founders of producing too many Envion tokens in order to become
A small group of investors also blame the founders for the
company crumbling. They’ve since initiated legal measures against them.
Woestmann and Van Aubel claim raids were unlawful
However, the raid by the Berlin State Prosecutor has signaled positive tidings for Envion token holders. According to Finance Forward, the prosecutor declined to give further details and analysis is ongoing.
Speaking through a lawyer, Woestmann and Van Aubel claimed the searches were unlawful. Investigators also didn’t clarify whether the raids meant there was a charge of guilt or innocence in the case.
Founders opened a case against ex-CEO and lawyer
About a year ago, a preliminary investigation was opened
against the two men after the founders laid a criminal complaint against them.
The founders accused the two of “an unlawful capital increase.”
Woestmann and Van Aubel denied any wrongdoing. In June 2018,
the district court ruled that “the majority takeover by the management was
illegal and injurious to the founders.”
The verdict was then upheld at the Berlin Court of Appeals at a subsequent hearing. In 2018, Envion founder Michael Luckow blamed the pair for stealing their company.
How Woestmann and Van Aubel joined Envion AG
Woestmann was approached in 2017 by Envion’s founders because he appeared to be an “extremely well-connected energy expert.” They believed he would give the “company a respectable face.”
Woestmann, in turn, brought in Van Aubel in January 2018.
The lawyer then proceeded to take over “shares in the company as part of the controversial
Envion AG dissolved at the end of 2018
In March 2019, the Swiss financial regulator Finma meaninglessly
“declared the Envion ICO illegal.” However, in November 2018, the Cantonal
Court of Zug had already ordered the dissolution of Envion AG because of a lack
of “statutory auditors.”
The founder’s way forward
Bankruptcy proceedings were held by the founders. The founders hope to “unlock a portal where token holders can register their claims at the end of October.”
Luckow and the other founders launched the “Liquidation Update Program (LUP)” for this purpose. The premise for it is that token holders will receive millions of dollars’ worth of claims in the liquidation and damages lawsuits which will be donated by the founders.
According to Presse Portal:
“An independent trustee will distribute money awarded to the founders during the liquidation for their tokens or shares in envion to token holders who sign up for the program via the website www.liquidation-upgrade-program.org.”
Membership is completely free and open to anyone holding Envion
tokens acquired during the ICO or afterwards.
Cape Town resident Kamil Suleiman became one of the latest
Guinness World Record holders for something quite unique. He ran the fastest
marathon time while dressed as a leprechaun.
Suleiman’s aim was to raise awareness for the “Palestine
cause.” The athlete dyed his beard bright red and wore a green outfit to make
Cape Town athlete competes in Berlin Marathon for Palestine
It’s official! A new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for KamilSuleiman @k_rfp and #Palestine!
The @GWR adjudicators confirmed the new world record of 2:58:01 set for fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun – he won @BerlinMarathon while carrying the ?????? flag in solidarity w/ Palestine! pic.twitter.com/8PTRN8AjMg
— ronnie barkan (@ronnie_barkan) September 29, 2019
On 29 September 2019, Suleiman competed at the BMW Berlin
Marathon in Germany where he managed to finish the race at a record time of two
hours 58 minutes. His new record was officially entered into the Guinness World
Suleiman’s Guinness World Record entry
The website noted his achievement as:
“The fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun (male) is 2 hrs 58 min 01 sec, and was achieved by Kamil Suleiman (South Africa) at the BMW Berlin Marathon, in Berlin, Germany, on September 29 2019. Kamil was wearing a full leprechaun costume with his beard coloured in red.”
Guinness World Records
His previous attempt at beating the running record
On 6 October 2019, the athlete addressed his bizarre Guinness
“I attempted the same record last year in London, and missed it by 15 seconds. This year I went and took my revenge and beat the record by 89 seconds, to be exact.”
Kamil Suleiman, Guinness World Record holder
Sulieman is a serious athlete who runs and competes
professionally. He hopes to be able to run more races in the future, however,
the next time he might not feature a look that will stand out.
Why he chose Palestine as his cause
The Palestinian cause is important and close to his heart.
Even though he was born in Ethiopia, he considers himself a Palestinian at
The athlete has lived in South Africa for nearly 16 years.
Images of Suleiman during the race reveal that he also ran holding the
What it feels like being a Guinness record holder
He shared that he’d chosen the unique outfit because it was
“mischievous” and unoffensive. The athlete addressed his Guinness record
“It’s really awesome. When you have an extreme feeling … the first thing is shock. It takes a while to sink in. The real feeling hit last night [Saturday].”
Kamil Suleiman, Guinness World Record holder
He continued explaining his experience adding:
“I was on the radio [doing an interview] and I was emotional. It’s something I do for a cause, but I’m someone ordinary.”
Kamil Suleiman, Guinness World Record holder
Postcard-worthy towns and villages are high
on my list when visiting Europe and Rothenburg ob der Tauber currently tops my
list as a charming fairytale town. Completely surrounded by a wall with
archways and fortified gates, and containing pastel coloured, half-timbered
buildings, the Old Town has serious charm and medieval German cuteness that will
In the Middle Ages, Rothenburg was
Germany’s second-largest city, Today, it’s the country’s most exciting medieval
town, enjoying tremendous popularity with tourists. There’s a thousand years of
history packed within the walls that completely surround the Old Town. This is
the area that you won’t want to leave.
The ancient town of turreted fortifications
and winding cobblestone streets in some ways feels more like something out of a
Disney film. It’s touristy, but if you want it to, it somehow manages to remain
A walking tour helps bring the Old Town
alive. To learn something of Rothenburg’s history, I suggest you take the tour
offered by the town’s tourist office in Market Square. Then for a thoroughly
fun hour, take the Night Watchman’s Tour and follow his black cape and
broad-brimmed hat as he points out places of interest and explains their place
in Rothenburg’s history in a unique entertaining style.
Specific attractions in Rothenburg
Walking the streets of the town without a plan is my favourite thing to do here and I could spend hours just doing this but there are a few specific attractions to see. For views and a great medieval feeling, walk the top of the wall that surrounds the Old Town. This is at its most attractive before breakfast or at sunset when it is almost deserted. You can walk most of the 1.5 kilometres but this would have taken me days because I found every metre so fascinating.
St. Jakob’s Church, with its twin towers rising above most of the town, contains a must-see art treasure: a glorious 500-year-old wooden altarpiece depicting the Biblical scenes of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, and the Mount of Olives. Also here is the Twelve Apostles Altar, and some lovely stained-glass windows.
Rising above the market square and the town hall stands the bell tower, the tallest building in Rothenburg. It offers a panoramic view of the entire town and the surrounding Tauber Valley. We climbed countless steps and then found the area at the top to be very confined for the 20 or so people allowed up there at the one time.
The Puppen & Spielzeug Museum has the largest doll and toy collection in Germany, model trains, stuffed animals, and other toys from the past 200 years. The most popular museum is the Kriminalmuseum. Here we found 10,000 grisly devices include iron maidens, a spike-covered chair, and much more over three floors.
History is on display everywhere in the
half-timbered gables and the grooves of centuries of horse carts in the old
cobbled streets. This gradually seeps into your being as you enjoy the Old Town.
It is difficult to describe but easily felt.
The classic image which appears in
countless promotion items for Rothenburg, is of the distinctive yellow
half-timbered house sitting between the Siebers Tower and the Kobolzeller Gate.
With its shutters, colourful flower boxes, and a small fountain at the front, it
is picture-perfect. My wife waited until the crowds had gone then snapped away
until after the sun went down.
Käthe Wohlfahrt, the world-famous Christmas store, is the home of the German Christmas Museum. It houses a permanent collection of ornaments, decorations, toys and artefacts. We learned about German Christmas traditions and history, including the fact that Germany invented the Christmas tree, prior to making our way through several rooms of exhibits.
Just outside town is an historic medieval double road bridge that spans the Tauber Valley. the structure was blown up by German troops in World War II but it was rebuilt and reopened in 1956.
Rothenburg is great to visit anytime but there are a few special occasions. Every June at Pentecost, the city becomes a stage reflecting the events of the devastating 30 Years War (1618-1648) between Catholic and Reformation Protestant forces which ravaged central Europe. The 400-year anniversary of the outbreak of war was celebrated last year.
Then there is the Imperial City Festival in September, when historical groups perform music, there is a knights’ encampment in front of the town’s gates, and you will be able to see the royal court in their colourful attire. The impressive program also includes two evenings of fireworks and public theatrical productions on Market Square.
Rothenburg hosts one of the most popular Christmas markets in Germany from the end of November to Christmas. This is the busiest time of year for this little town.
I have no doubt that Rothenburg has gone to
great lengths to maintain a certain vibe and match tourist expectations. It is certainly
effective in attracting hordes of tourists. This could be off-putting if you
are looking for a quaint village away from the crowds, but you should still go.
Instead of visiting during the middle of the day when the crowds are heavy, go
in the late afternoon and evening and stay for the night. By 7 p.m. the streets
are virtually empty.
Even with crowds, overpriced souvenirs, and
a rather ordinary, highly-promoted pastry specialty called Schneeball,
Rothenburg is still an absolute treasure. This was my third visit but I will certainly
go back again.
There are non-stop and one-stop flights to
Frankfurt, Germany from Johannesburg and one-stop flights from Cape Town. There
are trains from Frankfurt Airport which require one change and take about three
South African passport
holders require a short-term tourist visa (Schengen visa) to enter the country,
but the visa application process is a relatively painless one! You will need to
apply at one of the Intergate Visalink Visa Application Centres in South
The first thing you need to know is that IFA stands for Internationale Funkausstellung, and it’s held in Berlin. My apologies if you thought it was short for the Irish Football Association.
It’s happening at the Messe Berlin exhibition grounds this year, from Friday 6 September until Wednesday 11 September, and the programme is packed with groundbreaking tech, press events and launches.
Big names in attendance this year include Sony, Huawei, Microsoft, Google, Lenovo, Garmin, Asus, Samsung, LG, Acer and many more. Here’s what we could look forward too.
Smartphones at IFA 2019
It’s a big year for Sony and Samsung. Sony announced that its Xperia 5. It’s based on the same principles as its predecessor, the Sony Xperia 1.
The Xperia 5 comes with the unique 21:9 Cinema Wide display, perfect for watching movies on your mobile. In addition, it’s fitted out with an impressive 6.1-inch FHD+ display.
Samsung also revealed that its Galaxy Fold’s launch will rollout this month; the much anticipated foldable phone will ship out to the US and UK on 18 September.
Wearables and smartwatches at IFA 2019
Asus announced its VivoWatch S, which is waterproof down to 50 meters and comes with a Pulse OX features that allows you to monitor your body’s oxygen levels.
Not to be left behind, Garmin introduced a new line-up for its Venu wearable, complete with OLED touchscreen displays to take your workout sessions to the next level.
Then there’s Puma’s Wear OS-powered wearable, the company’s first-ever smartwatch. Puma teamed up with Fossil in 2018 and this is the result.
The smartwatch houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, and has 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage for offline music and apps.
“For innovation today, you need many innovative people brought together.”
ens Heithecker, executive vice president of Messe Berlin and the executive director of IFA
Computing at IFA 2019
Razer unveiled their Blade Stealth 13 ultrabook, perfect for gamers on the go. The Blade Stealth 13 has NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics and an Intel 10th gen Core i7 processor.
The 16GB of RAM is nice but the only downside here is the 512 GB of storage, so you might have to be selective with your choice of games.
In addition, Lenovo expanded their Mirage AR roster with Marvel’s Dimension of Heroes, a new augmented reality (AR) experience. Join forces with Blank Panther, Thor, Captain America and the rest to save the world.
Marvel’s Dimension of Heroes features an original story mode, a wave-based survival mode, and a co-op mode that lets players battle as heroes side-by-side.
Watch: What to expect from IFA 2019
With the Metrorail strike scheduled for today, we have to look at a few other issues that could be stifling the railway services reign, not just the safety issues.
How the German government is caught up with Prasa
In a recent protest by #UniteBehind outside the German consulate in Cape Town. They singled out Vossloh, a rail technology company based in Germany, as their subsidiary sold trains to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) that are unable to fit local train tracks in South Africa.
We know that there is corruption at Prasa; that it was captured by local looters and big foreign capital. There are corrupt tenders currently being challenged in our courts including one for trains that didn’t fit our infrastructure.
Billions of rands have been stolen that could’ve been used to improve our railway system, yet the Hawks and the National Prosecution Authority have done nothing. We have to root out this corruption at Prasa and our institutions if we are to #FixOurTrains!
The activist group #UniteBehind has called unto the German government to sanction companies and to investigate and prosecute German nationals who were involved in state capture and corruption at Prasa.
What is the resolution?
The activist group submitted a letter to the German consulate and the German Chamber of Commerce. According to GroundUp, this is the response they received from the consulate:
“We share with our South African partners the commitment to the Rule of Law and the fight against corruption. Any suspected cases of illegal activity must be investigated and followed through by the competent judicial authorities.”
Spokesperson at the German embassy
What is the status of the Metrorail strike?
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Friday train services were running smoothly despite Federation of Union South Africa (Fedusa) and United National Transport Union (Untu) members embarking on a strike.