Bosnia Court Indicts 16 for RS Banking Scam
A court has confirmed an indictment against 16 people accused of issuing illegal loans and guarantees on behalf of a defunct bank in the mainly Serbian entity, Republika Srpska.
A court in Bosnia has confirmed an indictment against 16 people in relation to a scam in which a now-defunct bank in Republika Srpska, RS, issued nearly 123 million KM [63 million euros] in fraudulent loans and guarantees, according to Bosnia’s prosecution. The indictment charges the 16 with belonging to a criminal enterprise based in the northeastern town of Bijeljina responsible for reckless lending and the illegal issue of guarantees to companies founded by the owner of Bobar Bank and other legal entities related to the bank.
Among those indicted are key officials in Republika Srpska, including the director of the Agency for Banking of the Republika Srpska, Slavica Injac, and the director of the Investment and Development Bank of the Republika Srpska, Snezana Vujinic. The indictment also names Darko Jeremic, Petar Cacanovic, Ana Mirosavljevic, Dragan Radumilo, Sonja Kurtuma, Sasa Tomic, Batric Djurisic, Zdravko Dubov, Igor Prodanovic, Dragica Tomic, Goran Ignjatovic, Pajo Panic, Drago Djukanovic and Jefo Boskovic.
According to the prosecution, the indictment was accepted by the court last week, but the news was not widely reported until Friday. At the time of arrests made by Bosnia’s State Investigation and Protection Agency, SIPA, the State Prosecutor said the scam had “caused damage to the banking system and the financial status of the Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
Security minister Dragan Mektic told BN TV: “All those who were involved in the crime and robbery will answer for it.”
Problems at Bobar Bank emerged after Gavrilo Bobar, its owner, died in 2014. He had been a member of the Republika Srpska assembly from the ruling Alliance of the Independent Social Democrats, SNSD. After major losses were uncovered, and after shareholders could not come up with a plan to save it, the bank shut the same year. Clients, including major state companies, risk losing some of their 250 million marks in deposits. The group is alleged to have mainly extended loans to companies from its owner’s business group, also named Bobar, and to the bank’s shareholders, who were then late in making repayments, according to the prosecutor.
24 March 2017
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