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SkyWay Group is a term used to refer to a group of companies registered under business names including "Euroasian Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.", "First SkyWay Invest Group Limited" and "Global Transport Investment Inc." in places like the British Virgin Islands, London and Minsk. These companies are seeking potential investors all over the world for development of its technology called SkyWay (or String Transport). The public has been warned by financial regulators about risky investments in SkyWay Group infrastructure projects.
Anatoly Yunitskiy is the inventor of SkyWay technology and according to The Baltic Course is also the founder and the main shareholder of companies in the SkyWay Group. The SkyWay technology has been marketed as a new type of elevated light rail transportation system. An assessment by the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering expresses the view that the technology is unsafe.
Although countries like Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania and the United Arab Emirates started negotiating with the SkyWay Group, no projects have been realized outside Belarus. Some of these projects were later cancelled or postponed due to concerns about safety and financial irregularity.
The SkyWay Group is using business practices like crowdfunding and multi-level marketing. It has also been documented that this company makes unsupported claims about their negotiations to encourage investment. Many countries including Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, New Zealand and Slovakia have warned the public about the activities of the company and its associates.
The technology promoted by the SkyWay Group was assessed in Russia in 2008 by the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering but it was subsequently dropped after they concluded that the project was "not viable and unsafe". According to their assessment, this technology is filled with a "large number of system defects" and is impractical "because it doesn’t provide an even path for the traffic". The report also stated that: "Passengers are at altitude from the ground level. Destruction of any string can lead to deaths. The system is associated with great risk."
In 2016, a Russian government panel that evaluated the technology called it innovative, but only in theory.
In 2001 a prototype of a SkyWay track was constructed in the Russian village Ozyory in Moscow Oblast. The allowable load on this track was tested there using a truck with iron wheels. This site was later deconstructed.
In October 2015 the SkyWay Group started constructing a test site to demonstrate 'SkyWay' technology. It is situated in Marjina Horka (about 70km from Minsk) and is called the EcoTechnoPark. In August 2018 there were three tracks demonstrating prototypes at this site. One is for a vehicle with a maximum capacity of 48 people. The second track is for a 14-seater vehicle and the third is for a 6-seater vehicle.
The SkyWay Group started negotiating with countries like Lithuania, Australia, India, Italy and Indonesia. These projects were later cancelled or postponed before construction began. The most recent planned project is in the United Arab Emirates.
During negotiations in 2014 between the SkyWay Group and the municipality of Siauliai in Lithuania an investment agreement was signed, a piece of land was pre-allocated to build a SkyWay test facility and money was transferred by SkyWay to the municipality's bank accounts. The mayor of Siauliai was later criticized for negotiating with the SkyWay Group and at the end of 2014 he was instructed to cancel the negotiations.
In May 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the minister of Urban Development of the Northern Indian state Himachal Pradesh with one of the SkyWay Group companies. In July 2017 the Economic Times reported that the government was criticised for negotiating "with a company with no operational projects anywhere in the world" and doubts were raised over the safety and viability of the project.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the University of Indonesia in West Java to build on-campus 'sky trains'. Plans were also made in Kalimantan. Members of the public complained about the suspicious sale of investment products and negotiations were finally cancelled in 2018.
The SkyWay Group has been seeking potential investors all over the world using various forms of marketing and SkyWay Capital is their main fundraiser. SkyWay Capital offers "astronomical" returns on investment, even "up to a thousand times". To this end they use crowdfunding and multi-level marketing where investors are promised remuneration for convincing other people to attend SkyWay sales meetings.
SkyWay Capital sells the shares and options of companies like “Euroasian Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.” and “First Skyway Group Ltd.”. These companies are registered in places like London and the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven. The success of this company depends on its product - the SkyWay technology - which, according to Siol.net, "is far from commercialization".
Companies associated with the SkyWay Group that are engaged in attracting investment have not received permission to sell shares in the countries in which they are active. They also disclaim any liability if investors lose their money. Financial regulatory agencies have warned that these companies show the characteristics of a pyramid scheme and that they could be involved in a scam.
Many national banks and regulatory agencies have warned the public that the SkyWay group do not have the legal right to sell shares in their countries and about possible risks associated with the purchase of these shares. It started after investigation in Lithuania In 2014 when the Bank of Lithuania released an official statement warning investors that unidentified individuals invited Lithuanian residents to invest in "next-generation string transport" by acquiring on-line shares of the private limited company which was selling them without a prospectus approved by a competent authority. The Bank of Lithuania shared this warning widely “so that it is known in all countries that this company is engaged in illegal activities”.
Since then warnings adjusted to the specific activities of SkyWay companies in individual countries have been released in many countries including Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia.
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Notes and referencesEdit
- Linas Jegelevičius (25 September 2015). "A genuine investment project? A boondoggle? A scheme? Lithuania: a national security threat first". Baltic News Network (BNN). Retrieved 1 March 2019.
«Euroasian Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.», «American Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.», «African Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.», «Australian & Oceanic Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.» and, set purposely to Lithuania, «Rail Skyway Systems Ltd.» are a few to be mentioned.
- "Financiële waakhond waarschuwt voor piramidefraude van SkyWay Capital". Gazet van Antwerpen.
- "First Skyway Invest Group Limited ("Skyway Capital")". Financial Services and Markets Authority. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) warns the public against the activities of First SkyWay Invest Group Limited (“SkyWay Capital”), a company that offers investment instruments to the public in Belgium.
- "Lietuvos bankas perspėja dėl pasiūlymų investuoti į „Skyway" projektus". www.lrytas.lt.
- "Sky Way, l'azienda del "tram volante" che non ha mai realizzato un progetto". letteraemme.it. 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
- Tomšič, Matic. "Kdo so Rusi, ki lovke stegujejo po slovenskem denarju". siol.net.
- Venugopal, Vasudha (13 July 2017). "Doubts raised over Belarus company credential for Rs 250-crore skyway transport project in Dharamshala". The Economic Times. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- ">"Bank of Lithuania warns SkyWay activities in Lithuania illegal". Lietuvos Bankas Lithuania. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
- "Court dismissed Rail Skyway Systems' EUR 10 mln claim against Lithuania". The Baltic Course. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
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- Сидорович, Константин (11 September 2017). "«Паразитирую на финансовых пирамидах», «перспективы развития — виртуальные». Что происходит со SkyWay Юницкого - Технологии Onliner". Onliner.
- Van Burren, Arthur (5 January 2018). "Das Skyway-Projekt – das Phantasialand der Träumer und Gutgläubigen?".
- "New Zealand's FMA Adds Skyway Capital to Warning List - Finance Magnates". Finance Magnates - Financial and business news. 12 July 2018.
- "Review of Skyway Capital - A Few Facts Why This Business Is a Scam". 23 September 2018.
- Van Burren, Arthur (8 November 2018). "First Skyway Invest Group Ltd – Bafin sieht Anhaltspunkte für fehlendes Verkaufsprospekt – Bafin sees evidence for missing sales prospectus".
- "SkyWay Invest Group ads are not approved". EconomyNews247 Greece. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
- Van Burren, Arthur (6 February 2019). "First Skyway Invest Group Ltd. – slowakische Nationalbank gibt Warnung heraus – Slovak National Bank issues warning".
- Сидорович, Константин (5 September 2016). "Илон Маск — чушь собачья, несите деньги мне. Белорус основал «компанию на $400 млрд» и строит под Минском «сверхскоростной» Sky Way - Технологии Onliner". Onliner. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
- "Возле Марьиной Горки строят испытательный центр транспорта будущего — Пухавiцкiя навiны. Пуховичские новости. Марьина Горка. Новости Марьиной Горки".
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- "Unveiled - the plan to bring driverless sky trains to Adelaide". FIVEaa.
- "Sutartis dėl Styginio transporto skandalo centre". www.snaujienos.lt. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
- "A genuine investment project? A boondoggle? A scheme? Lithuania: a national security threat first". Baltic News Network - News from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
- Khumaini, Anwar. "Gandeng SkyWay Indonesia, UI akan bangun 'Kereta Langit'". merdeka.com.
- Černiauskas, Šarūnas. "Transporto revoliuciją žadantis rusas Šiauliams mauna kvailio kepurę". DELFI.
- "Gateless gantries, suspended trams among public transport innovations on show at World Cities Summit". Channel NewsAsia.
- "Новые варианты рельсового транспорта". www.ng.ru.
- "Skyway Capital/Skyway Group". Financial Markets Authority (New Zealand). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- "Czech National Bank Warning". www.cnb.cz.
- "Information on First SkyWay Invest Group LTD" (PDF). EFSA website. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- First Skyway Invest Group Ltd: Anhaltspunkte für fehlenden Verkaufsprospekt BaFin
- Simorangkir, Eduardo. "Hati-hati! Ini 57 Investasi Bodong yang Dilarang OJK". detikfinance. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
- "Warnings". www.consob.it.
- "Upozornenie Národnej banky Slovenska na činnosť spoločnosti First SkyWay INVEST Group Ltd. - www.nbs.sk". www.nbs.sk.