Companies involved in Serbian Karic brothers money laundering revealed
Serbian investigators published a list of companies involved in money laundering operations carried out by infamous Serbian entrepreneurs, the Karic brothers, Serbian daily, Blic reported, July 21.
“The list of companies uncovered in the money laundering scheme includes entities from Cyprus, the U.K., Australia, Ireland, Panama and Sierra Leone,” Blic wrote.
The privatization of telecoms company and PPP vehicle Mobtel is one of 24 cases under investigation by state authorities. Originally launched in 1994, Mobtel was a joint venture between Moscow based BK Trade, owned by the Karic brothers, and the Serbian government.
The probe discovered that money was being laundered through a chain of 43 domestic and foreign companies, most of which were wholly or partly owned by Bogoljub and Sreten Karic. The brothers also transferred funds from Mobtel to their private accounts, through family members and partners, between 1998 and 2005.
The transfers took place through fake contracts with companies owned by the suspects that were never fulfilled. The sums in the non-existing deals were greatly inflated.
Apart from services that these companies were apparently providing for Mobtel, the Karic family made money by awarding contracts and purchase deals to companies that were under their ownership, as well as by assigning scholarships to their children.
These operations cost the state billions of dinars.
The companies include holding entities, banks, insurance companies, mobile operators and other entities from multiple jurisdictions. In Ireland they are: Vaha, FCI holding. In Cyprus they are: Privex Trading, Yucyco, Sesyco, Daki Int, JKJ trading com, Polivos trading, Hawkbury Finance, Postmex, Nosteco Trading, the Cypriot subsidiary of Karic Bank. In Serbia they are: Astra group, Evropa Osiguranje, Evropa International, Akademija umetnosti Braca Karic, Family Tourist, RTV BK Telekom, Simit Group, Postmex, Aeroinzinjering, Yunet International, BK Company, Jefimija Press, NIA.S Kosovo Mobikos.
Other companies registered in Sierra Leone, the U.K., Bahamas and Austria include B and S Export-Import GMBH, BVI, Komet, Timiso International, Goldform and Sim Paid.
The state has issued an arrest warrant for the Karic Brothers.